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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 Institute’s Galeta Marine...
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As a research diver for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one of my...
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From a distance, Henry the Fish looks like a typical quirky and colorful...
Plastic trash floats in the waters off the Smithsonian's Carrie Bow Cay field...

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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...

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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...
For more than two centuries, Boston Harbor has been a dumping ground. In 1773, colonists famously dumped shiploads of tea to protest taxes. But in recent decades, the harbor has received less tea and...
Striped dolphins ( Stenella coeruleoalba ) observed in emulsified oil on April 29, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, a few days after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It's going to take years to understand...
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-...
Part 5 of a 6-part series describing Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's efforts to understand the scope and impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "Tracking the Currents...
These photos portray baby albatrosses, which are fed the plastic by their parents. A chick can have an ounce of plastic in its belly and remain healthy; the dead chicks have twice as much, biologist...
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...
These tiny shells are the foraminifera Globobulimina affinis , found on the seafloor throughout the Atlantic Ocean. What makes this foram noteworthy is that it can survive where other forams can't:...
Bonny Schumaker, cofounder of the nonprofit On Wings of Care, flies over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill area every few weeks to survey for wildlife -- and on April 6, 2012, when this picture was taken...
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill brought the world's attention to the Gulf of Mexico and raised awareness of the region's chronic loss of wetlands as well as the massive dead zone caused by...
More than ever, the fate of the ocean is in our hands. To be good stewards and leave a thriving ocean for future generations, we need to make changes big and small wherever we are. To make a positive...
Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of all marine species and provide billions of dollars in products and services to humans each year. But they are also...
Marine debris damages habitat, entangles wildlife, helps transport invasive species, and harms marine animals that mistakenly ingest the trash thinking it is food. As part of the Smithsonian's Art's...
A placard warns residents that water—and anything else—that goes own this storm drain makes its way into the Potomac River and, eventually the ocean.
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