Coral reefs are in decline around the world. A team of scientists is trying to understand why.
You might have heard a few supposed facts about plastic in the ocean: 1) There is a massive swirling gyre of plastic, the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” between California and Japan that is twice the size of Texas; and 2) this plastic debris outweighs plankton and is growing in size. Interestingly, the scientific literature does not support these statements.
Bruce Mate didn’t wait long. Within days of the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, he was on the phone with officials from the U.S. Minerals Management Service. He and other OSU researchers are analyzing consequences of the largest spill in U.S. waters. Meanwhile, Oregon photographer Justin Bailie was on the scene in Terrebonne Parish.