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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 algae (phytoplankton) to grow rapidly...
Algae, like all organisms, normally grow in balance with their ecosystems,...
Often it's the tiniest organisms that do the most harm. One example is...
Over the past several decades, Florida’s coastal wetlands have been changing...

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This beautiful bromeliad, also called an air plant because it gets its nutrients and water from the air, is a flowering plant in the pineapple family. All of them are epiphytes, meaning they get their support from and grow on...
Sargassum fluitans , a.k.a. “Gulfweed,” forms dense clumps up to the size of...
Many species of pink coralline algae cover a reef surface in the Southern...

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Around 100 million years ago, grass from land adapted to live and reproduce while submerged in seawater—the modern-day...

The Ocean Blog

Many species of pink coralline algae cover a reef surface in the Southern Line Islands. Often unnoticed, these pink algae crusts help to cement coral reefs together, providing extra support and...
The open ocean is surprisingly barren to the naked eye. Every now and again you will encounter a school of fish and their attendant predators, but most of the life that you find is gathered around...
In the ocean, microscopic forms of algae, known as dinoflagellates , can "bloom" into dense patches near the surface, often referred to as "red tides." Some of these harmful algal blooms (HABs) are...
Both humans and sea lions get sick from eating fish and shellfish that have been feeding on harmful toxic algae. Studying the sick sea lions brings scientists closer to understanding and preventing...
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...
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...
When snorkeling in the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) in West Maui, I keep an eye out for certain kinds of fish. Not the brightest or the biggest, but those herbivores such as...
Around 100 million years ago, grass from land adapted to live and reproduce while submerged in seawater—the modern-day seagrasses. This sea invasion by land plants happened four separate times,...
One of the first signs of a sick coral reef is seaweed creeping across the corals, stealing their precious sunny real estate. Healthy corals, however, aren't completely hopeless: in some reefs, small...
How do plants respond to rising CO2 levels? To find out, plant physiologist Bert Drake at SERC exposed marsh plants near the Chesapeake Bay to CO2 levels expected in 50 and 100 years. Different...
Bacteria are everywhere in the ocean. They live in the water, on virtually every living and non-living surface, and even inside other organisms . There are 1 million bacterial cells in every...
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...
Even though the Amazon River and the ocean seem very different—the river is freshwater while the ocean is salty, the ocean is vast and deep compared to the Amazon—they are closely connected. The...
Adult green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) spend most of their time grazing in seagrass meadows. It's estimated that before Columbus arrived in America in 1492, the number of green turtles supported...
Johnson's seagrass is the lone ocean plant species listed under the Endangered Species Act. Its flowing green stalks play an important role in coastal ecosystems where they act as nursery grounds for...
Nestled among the beautiful coral reefs of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a place that could provide the key to our understanding of one of the biggest threats to coral reef survival: Ocean Acidification...
The bright, brilliant swirls of blue and green seen from space are a phytoplankton bloom in the Barents Sea. Phytoplankton can bloom like this, rapidly growing and reproducing, because of a sudden...
How do you explain a scientific paper in three minutes or less? What if you were being judged by a bunch of middle-schoolers in classrooms around the world… and you only had a month to do it? The...
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