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From a distance, Henry the Fish looks like a typical quirky and colorful sculpture you'd find in a small beach town. But when you look up close, Henry begins to change. His bright yellow...
Plastic trash floats in the waters off the Smithsonian's Carrie Bow Cay field...
More than 40 years after the 1969 oil spill in Massachusetts’ Wild Harbor salt...
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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have...

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The “garbage patches,” as referred to in the media, are areas of marine debris concentration in the North Pacific Ocean, circulated by the North Pacific gyre. The gyre spreads across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the western US...
There is a huge amount of plastic trash floating in the ocean, which...
Bonaire, a small Caribbean island just north of Venezuela, is routinely...

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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...

The Ocean Blog

Major oil spills like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill are devestating, but aren’t the only way oil gets into the ocean. Nearly 85 percent of oil in U.S. coastal waters comes from runoff (roads,...
Lately we’ve been fielding questions from Smithsonian visitors wondering how they can help with the oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico. If there is any good news coming out of this situation, it...
With the nuclear and humanitarian crisis in Japan, major political changes in North Africa and the Middle East, and heated budget battles here in the United States, you'd be forgiven for not...
Bonaire, a small Caribbean island just north of Venezuela, is routinely ranked as a top diving destination in the world. But there's something getting in the way of beautiful dives: plastic trash...
One study found that 97.5% of chicks had plastic in their stomachs, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium .
These bits and pieces of plastic are drying in a petri dish before they are archived. They were collected in nets from the open ocean.
Two years ago last week, on April 20, 2010, an explosion on the oil-drilling rig Deepwater Horizon caused the largest marine oil spill in history , gushing nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil over...
On June 3, 2010 a brown pelican, the Louisiana state bird, stands mired in oil in East Grand Terre. According to reports, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was contacted, and...
Recorded Feb. 15, 2011, this video from the Third Student Summit on the Ocean and Coasts includes presentations that were given by delegations from the Monterey Bay Aquarium (2:30), Oregon Coast...
Midway Atoll, where these photos were taken, is more than 2,000 miles from the nearest land.
Dr. Erica Miller of the Louisiana State Wildlife Response Team cleans oil form a pelican in Plaquemines Parish, LA. Wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico have been heavily impacted by an ongoing oil spill...
This four-foot long fish sculpture was created by art students at A.W. Cox Elementary School in Guilford, CT. The purpose of the Rakefish Project is to raise awareness of marine litter among...
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...
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...
If this chick had survived, it could have lived a long time. The oldest known wild bird is a 62-year old Laysan albatross named “Wisdom,” who still rears chicks on Midway Atoll.
Boats trying to control the fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 21, 2010.
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...
Reef biologists over a certain age are haunted by memories of what glorious places Caribbean reefs once were. In our youth we studied them for all sorts of reasons but scarcely thought about reef...
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