Pollution

Humans take a huge toll on the environment in a variety of forms. Small plastic pieces make their way to the ocean where they are consumed by fish. Oils spills occur and nutrient runoff can have a huge impact on coastal ecosystems.

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More than 40 years after the 1969 oil spill in Massachusetts’ Wild Harbor salt marsh, environmental chemist Dr. Chris Reddy from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution finds that the oil is still present. In this...
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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have...
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2012 marked the 70th anniversary of a series of World War II battles in the...
Oil Spill Pioneers : A look back at the pioneers and oil spill research that...

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In recent years, blooms of jellyfish, such as these moon jellies ( Aurita aurita ) in the Chesapeake Bay, have become more common around the world for a number of different reasons . One result of these blooms is that there is...
There are many plastic nets floating in the world's ocean. Some of them were...
At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the...

DIVE DEEPER

The Gulf oil spill is recognized as the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Within days of the April 20, 2010 explosion and...
The Deepwater Horizon disaster has imperiled the ecosystem along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Most oil spills have occurred at the ocean surface. This one, originating at the ocean floor and rising up...
Sit down with two veteran marine scientists, Dr. Nancy Knowlton and Dr. Jeremy Jackson, who fell in love with each other and the reefs of the Caribbean 40 years ago. Those reefs are now gone due to...
The National Oil Spill Commission has released findings from its investigation into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Read the final report or watch the video summary . Then,...
There is a huge amount of plastic trash floating in the ocean, which endangers wildlife that eats or gets tangled in it. Reducing the amount of plastic trash in the ocean doesn't seem that hard;...
2012 marked the 70th anniversary of a series of World War II battles in the Pacific Ocean and on its islands, which are collectively known as the “Pacific theatre.” While the battles are long over,...
GRAND ISLE, La. -- Brown pelicans congregate on containment boom that surrounds Queen Bess Island, a few miles north of Grand Isle, Louisiana on August 25, 2010, a few months after the Deepwater...
Midway Atoll, where these photos were taken, is more than 2,000 miles from the nearest land.
Major oil spills like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill are devestating, but aren’t the only way oil gets into the ocean. Nearly 85 percent of oil in U.S. coastal waters comes from runoff (roads,...
These bits and pieces of plastic are drying in a petri dish before they are archived. They were collected in nets from the open ocean.
By Emily Frost Jellyfish aren't the passive creatures you think they are. While they appear to simply drift through the ocean, letting the currents take them where they may, they can also swim up and...
Recorded Feb. 15, 2011, this video from the Third Student Summit on the Ocean and Coasts includes presentations that were given by delegations from the Monterey Bay Aquarium (2:30), Oregon Coast...
The “garbage patches,” as referred to in the media, are areas of marine debris concentration in the North Pacific Ocean, circulated by the North Pacific gyre. The gyre spreads across the Pacific...
In recent years, blooms of jellyfish, such as these moon jellies ( Aurita aurita ) in the Chesapeake Bay, have become more common around the world for a number of different reasons . One result of...
This photograph from a scanning electron micrograph shows the plastisphere up close. Here you can see a microbial reef forming on a tiny piece of plastic found in the open ocean. A variety of single-...
On April 27, 1986, an estimated 50,000 barrels of medium-weight crude oil drained from a ruptured storage tank at a refinery in Panama, polluting the coast and the Smithsonian Tropical Research...
A group of students pick up trash along the coast of Guyana during the Ocean Conservancy's 2012 Coastal Cleanup, which it organizes in countries around the world every year. In 2013, nearly 650,000...
The explosion of Deepwater Horizon, an oil-drilling platform roughly 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana, is quickly growing into an environmental disaster that will leave its mark on coastal...
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