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The Ocean Blog

When people sail the sea, marine organisms tag along. If carried long distances, these hitchhikers can invade and disrupt ecosystems far from their natural homes, pushing out the local species. Some...
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...
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.
Algae, like all organisms, normally grow in balance with their ecosystems, limited by the amount of nutrients in the water. But sometimes, certain species of algae reproduce so rapidly that they...
The threat that climate change poses to polar bears has received a lot of attention, but they are not the only Arctic species at risk. Ice-loving seals, such as harp, hooded and ringed seals, are...
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...
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico impacts the coast at Pass a Loutre, La. Photo was taken on June 2, 2010. More about the Gulf oil spill can be found in our Gulf oil...
A net used to trawl the ocean floor scooped up this large specimen of deep-sea coral. Because the ship was trawling for other species, the coral was discarded as bycatch. Fishing in deep-water...
A scientist, Chris Reddy from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, collects oil-laden "sand patties" on a Louisiana beach two years after the oil spill. Watch a video of Chris Reddy talking about...
Ocean acidification is sometimes called “climate change’s equally evil twin,” and for good reason: it's a significant and harmful consequence of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that we don't...
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 ,...
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...
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...
On March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the ocean around Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to see what kind of damage they would do to ships. The largest explosion was...
Sandy beaches are home to a Diversity of Life In the Shores and Shallows Gallery of the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall , a beach display features magnified grains of sand and the tiny beach critters...
Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor dives to deep-sea environments to study corals and the invertebrates that live in them. Learn how she became interested in deep-sea corals , and explore more in the multimedia...
Scientists predict that ocean acidification will impact communities around the world. One of them is the Suquamish Nation , an American Indian tribe on the Puget Sound, in the Pacific Northwest...
Named for the radiant blue color on its back and sides, the blue shark ( Prionace glauca ) traverses the world’s temperate and tropical seas. Known for traveling great distances and being a swift...
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