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Over the past several decades, Florida’s coastal wetlands have been changing. Along the eastern shore, researchers have seen small mangrove trees appearing in areas further north than they usually occur, in places that historically...
This beautiful bromeliad, also called an air plant because it gets its...
Follow researchers Candy Feller and Dennis Whigham from the Smithsonian...
Dip your head below the water's surface in a mangrove forest and an entirely...

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What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured from the atmosphere by ocean ecosystems, mainly coastal mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes. These coastal areas can hold up to five times more...
In Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, brown pelicans ( Pelecanus occidentalis )...
The Island Leaf-Toed Gecko ( Phyllodactylus insularis ) is one of several...

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Mangroves are survivors. With their roots submerged in water, mangrove trees thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that...

The Ocean Blog

The 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 and the massive dead zone caused by excess nutrients...
In summer 2009, in the heart of New Orleans, a 600-foot tanker collided with a 200-foot fuel barge, tearing the barge in half. Several hundred thousand gallons of oil leaked out of the barge and into...
West Indian Manatees, Trichechus manatus , are found in warm, shallow coastal ecosystems along the southeastern North America and northeastern South America. They graze plants in mangrove ecosystems...
In Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, brown pelicans ( Pelecanus occidentalis ) nest at the top of a mangrove tree. Many other kinds of birds—as well as insects, frogs, snakes, and lizards—live in the...
Dr. Ilka C. "Candy" Feller calls mangroves the 'nursery of the sea.' These important coastal habitats face many threats, including nutrient pollution from fertilizer runoff. That's the focus of much...
Here’s a view of mangrove roots above the water. The roots extend far below the water’s surface, anchoring the forest to the sea and providing a tangled habitat for a variety of marine organisms...
This is a close-up view of the peat soil surface in an intact mangrove forest. Mangrove roots help to build the peat underlying mangrove islands. Their accumulation over thousands of years has built...
This week at the Smithsonian Ocean Portal we embark on an experiment we're calling "Make Me Care." The concept is simple: we ask a renowned expert to tell us why we should care about his or her...
Dennis Whigham , a senior botanist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center , makes his quick pitch for why you should care about the wetland plant Phragmites australis . A European strain of...
The Island Leaf-Toed Gecko ( Phyllodactylus insularis ) is one of several species of geckos that live in the mangroves of the Caribbean’s Mangal Cay. More about mangroves can be found in our...
This orchid ( Brassavola sp. ) grows in the mangroves of Belize—providing a spot of grace and beauty amidst the mud. More about the plants and animals found in mangrove forests can be found in the...
Arching mangrove roots like these help keep trunks upright in the soft sediments at water’s edge. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
The Smithsonian’s Carrie Bow Cay Marine Field Station supports research projects of marine scientists year-round. It offers ready access to thousands of small mangrove islands as well as countless...
At the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, Dr. Wayne Sousa (right) studies how gaps in the canopy caused by lightning help mangrove forests regenerate. More about mangroves can be...
Both humans and sea lions get sick from eating fish and shellfish that have been feeding on harmful toxic algae. Studying the sick sea lions brings scientists closer to understanding and preventing...
Dr. Chris Reddy, an environmental chemist from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution studies the long-term impacts of oil spills. Watch as he digs beneath the surface in Massachusetts’ Wild Harbor...
Fringing mangroves in the Pelican Cays, Belize, were killed by dredge material that overflowed and smothered the aerial roots of trees along the shoreline. More about mangroves can be found in our...
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...
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