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Plastic trash floats in the waters off the Smithsonian's Carrie Bow Cay field station , in Belize. This image is a still taken from a video recorded by Laurie Penland, a Smithsonian dive officer .
Part 1 of a 6-part series describing WHOI's efforts to understand the scope and...
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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have...
Any floating object in the ocean tends to attract life; fishermen know this and...

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In the ocean, microscopic forms of algae, known as dinoflagellates , can "bloom" into dense patches near the surface, often referred to as "red tides." Some of these harmful algal blooms (HABs) are dangerous, producing toxins...
In the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, what is the effect of oil on...
Researchers from the SOCAL-10 research partnership study the behavior of...

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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 Ocean Blog

Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have a wingspan of more than 6 feet, soaring vast distances without flapping their wings. They can go years without even...
Once upon a time, the ocean was considered the last place where we could still find an undisturbed environment. This was before the plague of man-made plastic trash flooded the seas. During my...
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-...
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,...
Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) workers contracted by BP clean up oil on the beach in Port Fourchon, La. May 23, 2010. Hundreds of HSE contract workers cleaned up oil from the Deepwater Horizon...
It is a well-known fact that for animals living in the deep sea, food can be scarce. The food that is around usually rains down from above as dead animals and organic particles from plankton living...
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...
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...
The plastic includes big pieces, such as bottle caps and cigarette lighters, as well as plastic confetti, indiscernible to the human eye.
One study found that 97.5% of chicks had plastic in their stomachs, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium .
Many animals depend on their eyes to navigate, find food, locate mates, and for other important activities. But marine mammals often rely on sound—sometimes far more than sight—for such critical...
In the Pacific Ocean, four ocean currents merge to form the North Pacific gyre, also known as the North Pacific Subtropical High, which spans the western US to Japan, and Hawaii to California. This...
A tiny yellow goby, Lubricogobius exiguus , living inside an abandoned can on the seafloor; Suruga Bay, Japan
On June 3, 2010 a brown pelican, the Louisiana state bird, stands mired in oil in East Grand Terre. According to reports, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was contacted, and...
Two years ago last week, on April 20, 2010, an explosion on the oil-drilling rig Deepwater Horizon caused the largest marine oil spill in history , gushing nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil over...
The National Museum of Natural History's Department of Invertebrate Zoology has developed an online map that provides information about invertebrates in the National Collection from areas impacted by...
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