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Last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico brought a renewed focus to an often ignored issue: degradation of our oceans. Liquid, solid, and acoustic pollution have devastating effects on marine habitats. The consequences—from entanglement in discarded fishing lines to disorientation from naval sonar—can be deadly.


Pollution poses a threat to marine life in many forms. Plastics such as six-pack rings tangle around the snouts and necks of sea lions, making it hard to breathe or eat. Fishing lines wrap around whales and dolphins, slicing off flukes and fins.

Oil, PCBs, and other chemicals can poison animals and kill plant life vital to some species’ survival.  Oil spills destroyed acres of sea-grass beds essential to dugong survival in the Persian Gulf after Operation Desert Storm.

And scientists believe naval sonar has caused mass strandings of dolphins and whales.
The HSUS works on many fronts to make the oceans safer homes for marine life.

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