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Microbe Colonies Thrive on Ocean Plastic Debris

Thoughtless habits and practices - a bottle dropped here, a bag thrown there - are creating garbage dumps in the world’s oceans. The flotilla of debris moves with the currents and harms fish and marine mammals that either ingest or get entangled in it. But for some organisms, it's home.
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Sea Education Association (SEA) sailing research ship Corwith Cramer under sail. (Credit: E. Zettler, SEA Education Association)
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Sea Education Association (SEA) sailing research ship Corwith Cramer under sail. (Credit: E. Zettler, SEA Education Association)

SEA Semester Chief Mate Rocky Hadler tows a net aboard the Crowith Cramer. (Credit: E. Zettler, SEA Education Association)
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SEA Semester Chief Mate Rocky Hadler tows a net aboard the Crowith Cramer. (Credit: E. Zettler, SEA Education Association)

SEA Semester students Allison Adams and Annie Scofield retrieve nets with plastic and plankton in them. (Credit: E. Zettler, SEA Education Association)
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SEA Semester students Allison Adams and Annie Scofield retrieve nets with plastic and plankton in them. (Credit: E. Zettler, SEA Education Association)

Section of plastic filament net pulled aboard from the open ocean. (Credit: G. Boyd, SEA Education Association)
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Section of plastic filament net pulled aboard from the open ocean. (Credit: G. Boyd, SEA Education Association)

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