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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...
What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured...
Photographer Brian Skerry hikes through a mangrove in Bimini (The Bahamas) to...
Mangroves thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would kill most plants...
This is a close-up view of the peat soil surface in an intact mangrove forest...

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At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the effect of excess nutrients on mangrove swamps. Feller runs the Animal-Plant Interaction Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. See a photo...
The lettuce sea slug ( Elysia crispata ) has enlarged fleshy appendages that...
West Indian Manatees, Trichechus manatus , are found in warm, shallow...
This beautiful bromeliad, also called an air plant because it gets its...

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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

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...
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...
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...
Smithsonian Marine Science Network Postdoctoral Fellow, Seabird McKeon, returns from the Smithsonian field site in Belize. Together with Dan Barshis of Stanford University, Seabird reports on the...
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...
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...
In Edgewater, Maryland, scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center examine the influences of climate change, excess nutrients, and surrounding habitats on mangroves. They have also...
The dense aerial root system of this mangrove forest in Pelican Cays, Belize, creates a strong but permeable barrier to waves and currents. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured...
Smithsonian research assistant Anne Chamberlain and Marc Frischer from Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Savannah, Georgia, stride through thick mud covered by algal mats in a mangrove pond at...
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...
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...
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...
Follow researchers Candy Feller and Dennis Whigham from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center as they scramble, climb, crawl, and creep through the tangled roots of a mangrove forest. In this...
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...
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...
Dr. Candy Feller is framed by the roots of a mangrove tree on Panama’s Pacific coast. Mangrove trees grow particularly large in this area. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured...
This slug caterpillar ( Acharia horrida ) turns into a very plain brown moth with stinging spines that are very nasty to rub up against. Although the slug caterpillar family occurs worldwide, this...
The lettuce sea slug ( Elysia crispata ) has enlarged fleshy appendages that are folded over one another, with colors ranging from blue to green, with purple and red lining. The green coloring is...
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