Healthy aquatic vegetation in the Chesapeake Bay.
Cassie Gurbisz/University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
An ambitious plan to cut the flow of nutrients into the Chesapeake Bay has produced historic regrowth of underwater seagrasses. These results offer hope for other polluted water bodies.
A seal trapped in a mat of plastic pollution.
Millions of tonnes of plastic garbage winds up in our oceans each year. Voluntary pledges haven't worked. It's time for Canada to advocate for an international plastics treaty.
A plastic bottle trapped on a coral reef.
Coral reefs in the Asia-Pacific have been deluged with an estimated 11.1 billion pieces of plastic waste, increasing the risk of coral disease more than 20-fold.
Plastic pollution: discarded plastic bags are a hazard to marine life.
Tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean each year, but a switch away from petroleum-based products to bio-derived and degradable composites could lessen marine pollution.
Water quality is one of the major issues that threatens the Great Barrier Reef’s health.
AAP Image/Dan Peled
The updated plan for improving water quality on the Great Barrier Reef still doesn't address the need to curb intensively farmed crops such as sugar cane, and to enforce existing environmental laws.
The same beach on Henderson Island, in 1992 and 2015.
After making worldwide headlines with the story of the Pacific "garbage island", researchers were sent a photo of the same beach, white sand free of litter, as recently as 1992.
The researchers found nearly 38 million pieces of plastic rubbish on Henderson Island, in one of the remotest parts of the ocean.
Plastics pose a major threat to seabirds and other animals, and most don't ever break down - they just break up. Every piece of petrochemical-derived plastic ever made still exists on the planet.
A man stretches his leg on the bank of the Han River as a ship passes by amid thick haze. Tens of thousands of premature deaths in east Asia every year are caused by shipping pollution.
The merchant navy – some 20,000 ships – carries the vast majority of trade goods around the world. Unfortunately, they also spew toxic pollutants that harm people and the environment.
Pollution and debris off the Sri Lankan coast.
A new documentary highlights the plight of marine animals living among the estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic rubbish generated by humans.
Popular tourist destination Kuta beach in Bali, Indonesia, is regularly covered in waste, most of it plastic that washes ashore during the rainy season. This picture was taken on February 15, 2016.
Marine plastic pollution is a global problem. Bali's beaches present prime examples and an opportunity to study the socio-economic effects this has on coastal communities.
A trench amphipod,
Hirondellea gigas, from the deepest place on Earth: Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench (10,890m).
Alan Jamieson, Newcastle University
But should we care if the extreme marine frontier is not clean?
Around 94% of litter on South African beaches is made of plastic, of which 77% is packaging.
Waste plastic affects marine life significantly but better education and recyclable plastics could go a long way in resolving this issue.
Sperm whales, like many other species, use echolocation which can be hampered by noise.
Gabriel Barathieu/Wikimedia Commons
We tend to think of the oceans as quiet, when in fact they're anything but. Noise is the "forgotten pollutant", but the good news is that unlike many other pollutants it can be switched off if we try.
School of thought.
Understanding this will boost conservation efforts.
Plastic fragments found in dissected fish.
Algalita Marine Research and Education
Dave West from the environmental group Boomerang Alliance told Fairfax that if you've got an average seafood diet in Australia, you're probably ingesting about 11,000 plastic pieces a year. Is that right?
The Curtis Island gas precinct is one of the biggest developments along the Great Barrier Reef coast.
The coast alongside the Great Barrier Reef is home to ports, farms, holiday resorts, and more than a million people. It all puts pressure on the Reef, and it's time for some firms plans to manage it.
A flood plume containing sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing onto the Great Barrier Reef from Bundaberg.
AAP Image/James Cook University
Successive plans to curb the sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing into the waters around the Great Barrier Reef have fallen short, leaving the corals that call the reef home highly vulnerable.
It’s not always as ostentatious as Dubai, but our coastlines are home to ever-growing numbers of manmade structures.
Urban sprawl has spread to the sea, as more and more man-made structures are being built along the world's coastlines. Just as we do on land, we need to think about how to build sustainably at sea.