Try this slick and simple experiment for elementary school students in class or at home to see how oil behaves with water.

Try this simple exercise for elementary school students to demonstrate what happens when oil spills and becomes mixed with the ocean.

Take a look at the way oil affects bird feathers, and try different cleanup methods to find out which works best.

In 1990, NOAA scientists began a long-term study of "Mearns Rock," a large boulder that was oiled but not cleaned during the Exxon Valdez oil spill, to examine how marine life recovers from oil spills. They have been photographing the boulder each year since.

This exercise demonstrates how different oils can act with particular types of beaches.

Get the big picture of what happens when oil spills: how much oil gets spilled, what can cause a spill, who cleans it up, and how do they do it?

Oil spills into rivers, bays, and the ocean most often are caused by accidents involving tankers, barges, pipelines, refineries, drilling rigs, and storage facilities.

When oil spills into the ocean, it's especially likely to harm animals and plants near the water surface and along the shore.

Learn more in this education resource for students and teachers.

In the United States, depending on where the oil spill occurs, either the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency takes charge of the spill response.

April 19, 2017 - The testing process for determining toxicity is detailed, rigorous, and time consuming. Yet, knowing a substance’s toxic levels is important to understanding the potential risks posed to people’s health and to the environment. NOAA marine ecologist Alan Mearns explores the science of toxicity testing.

Browse these other online resources aimed at students and teachers interested in ocean, coastal, and pollution issues.