The text on this site is presented as an archival version of the script of "Ocean Planet," a 1995 Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition. The content reflects the state of knowledge at the time of the exhibition, and has not been updated.

Marine Pollution Two

This "buoy" will help you navigate through the causes, effects, and responses to problems associated with polluted runoff, sewage and introduced, or "alien" species.

Each of the four sides of this buoy marks the course through oceans in peril.


Widespread pollution adds up
Identifying a water polluter is a snap when you spot a single pipeline spewing wastes. A wide range of activities contribute to nonpoint source pollution.
photo © David H. Harvey/Woodfin Camp & Associates


Swim at your own risk
Raw sewage from combined sewer overflows and other sources poses health risks and contributes to oxygen depletion in coastal waters
photo © Bruce Wodder/The Image Bank


Biological Roulette
Non-native species are introduced to new areas through ship ballast water and other means, and often cause ecological problems.
photo © Norbert Wu


More than three-quarters of ocean pollution comes from land
Much of it flows into the oceans from the mouths of rivers.

Ocean Planet Exhibition Floorplan

gene carl feldman ( (301) 286-9428
Judith Gradwohl, Smithsonian Institution (Curator/Ocean Planet)