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The Ocean Blog

Woods Hole scientists operate an ROV to sample the oil spewing from the ruptured Macondo Well. After the April 20, 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico,...
A polar bear ( Ursus maritimus) in Churchill Wildlife Management Area in Manitoba, Canada smelling the scent of humans while waiting for sea ice to form on of the Hudson Bay. There are several human...
Tom Peschak, a photojournalist with the Save Our Seas Foundation, describes the devastating effects shark nets have on ocean life along the South African coastline. The nets were installed to protect...
Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy bottom at a depth of 12,000 feet. It’s absolutely dark. What will you see when the exterior lights are turned on? Will...
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...
In 1872, the United States did something remarkable. We set aside one of our greatest natural treasures, Yellowstone National Park , for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. The logic was...
Neptune grass ( Posidonia oceanica ) is an ancient seagrass that is unique to the Mediterranean Sea. It is incredibly slow-growing; so slow that scientists estimate one large meadow that is 9.3 miles...
These brittlestars ( Ophiothela mirabilis ) are not where they belong. These animals, usually found in the Pacific Ocean, were first spotted in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil in 2000. And...
The ocean, which we often break into five large ocean basins, covers 71 percent of the Earth's surface and holds over 1.3 billion cubic km of water. This massive space also holds over 99 percent of...
Instead of adding castaway fishing nets to already crowded landfills, Hawaii’s multi-partner marine debris group has developed a method of converting marine debris into usable electricity. The Nets-...
Seagrasses growing on the seafloor of the Chesapeake Bay rely on light to grow—but, thanks to pollution, that sunlight has become more scarce. Nutrient runoff from fertilizers causes microscopic...
Deep-sea coral beds are true biodiversity hotspots. It’s urgent that we study these extreme environments because we know so little about them, because they are important communities for so many deep-...
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...
The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of ocean off the coast of Antarctica, has been nicknamed “ The Last Ocean .” And it’s not just a ploy to get your attention. In...
Smithsonian scientists and their colleagues are investigating important questions and issues related to mangrove ecosystems. • At the Smithsonian Marine Field Station on Carrie Bow Cay in Belize ,...
An early scale model of North Atlantic right whale Phoenix indicates the location of scars on her tail from entanglements with fishing gear. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a...
CREDIT: Wikimedia User “Fisherman” Because of consumer demand for sashimi (a fresh raw seafood dish), the fishing pressure on Atlantic bluefin tuna is extraordinarily high. The sale of a single...
Have you ever gone to your favorite coastal or lakeside beach and instead of having a fun day in the sun you were faced with a trove of trash? How heartbreaking it is to see waters and shorelines...
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