Recent Posts

  • Pollution reaches the Mariana Trench


    The amphipods were contaminated with PCBs — polychlorinated biphenyls — toxic chemicals used for decades in industry, as well as other industrial pollutants known as persistent organic pollutants.

    “Every sample we had,” Jamieson says, “had contaminants in it at very high or extraordinarily high levels.”

  • ‘Vaquitas will be extinct in a few years’


    “The situation is completely out of control,” says Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho, a cetacean expert at the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change in Ensenada, Mexico, and member of the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita, an international advisory group to the Mexican government. “Of course, there’s a risk in capturing the vaquitas. But it’s clear now that they will be killed [in gillnets] anyway.”

  • Warming Seas Impact Alaskan Marine Ecosystem

    Warming waters along Alaskan coast is changing marine ecosystems, says a researchers at a recent symposium.

    Farther south, the Bering Sea has emerged as a hot spot for warming-water studies — almost literally. Sea-surface temperatures in the Bering reached 14 degrees Celsius last summer (57 degrees Fahrenheit) and were generally 3 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than normal, scientists reported.

  • The Good News for Oceans in 2016

    C. Coimbra photo

    2016 was quite a year! From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank each and every National Marine Sanctuary System employee, contractor, partner and advisory council member for your contribution to the many successes we have achieved during… Read More ›

  • Microplastic Research

    C. Coimbra photo

    “… plastic debris is often contaminated with toxic chemicals. Plastics can absorb and concentrate toxic pollutants present at trace levels in seawater, and some of the chemical additives mixed in during the manufacturing process can be toxic as well. When marine organisms ingest chemical-laden plastic pieces, some of the pollutants may be released within the gut of the animal and absorbed into body tissue. Although it is uncertain how much of these harmful chemicals enter marine animals due to ingestion of plastic debris in the ocean, laboratory experiments suggest there may be reason for concern.”

  • Researching Cellular Growth in Seawater Acidity


    The uptake of fossil fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) by the ocean increases seawater acidity and causes a decline in carbonate ion concentrations. This process, termed ocean acidification, makes it energetically more costly for calcifying organisms to form their calcareous shells… Read More ›