National Geographic Photo Gallery: Polluted Oceans

Trash, Philippines

Photograph by China Photos, Getty Images

Sections of Manila Bay in the Philippines are so choked with trash, it's possible to walk across them without sinking. Street children like this boy regularly scavenge the bay's polluted waters seeking anything sellable.

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Photograph by Ken Graham/Getty Images

A pool of saffron-colored oil paints swirls along Alaska's shoreline following theExxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. Although it was not large compared to other spills, the Valdez oil spill was one of the world's most ecologically devastating disasters, spoiling more than 1,200 miles (1,931 kilometers) of shoreline, including three national parks, three national wildlife refuges, and one national forest.

Garbage Dump, Alaska

Photograph by Ken Graham/Getty Images

An open-air garbage dump tarnishes the sapphire coast of Barrow, Alaska. Trash that makes its way into the oceans decomposes very slowly, littering coastlines, polluting ground water, and harming marine creatures that mistake the trash for food.

Garbage on Beach

Photograph by Bryan Mullennix/Getty Images

A miscellany of soda caps, drink cartons, and plastic scraps sits at the edge of an Acapulco, Mexico, beach. Plastic debris, which can take 500 years to decompose, made up more than half of the litter found on beaches in 2005.
This is just a handful of the images from this section at National Geographic. For all of them, click HERE. Teresa