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Photos of pollution for students

Water pollution pipe pouring against background of snow. US Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes National Program office

Last updated: May 9, 2012.

Looking for photos of water and air pollution to illustrate your school or college project? You've come to the right place. We've collected together a mini "photo library" of about 60 public domain (copyright free) images you can safely use without worrying about copyright. We do hope you find them useful.

Photo by US National Park Service, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, courtesy of US EPA Great Lakes National Program office.

Before you read on, you might like to note that these three other handy pollution pages:

Click on the thumbnail images on the left to link to a full-size picture. If you need a hi-res image for printing, you'll need to visit the website on the right and search.

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Description Source
Photo of Amoco oil spill pollution
Amoco Oil Spill US Fish & Wildlife Service
Amoco oil spill pollution cleanup
Cleaning up after Amoco oil spill
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Apex pil pollution spill
Apex oil pollution spill in Trinity Bay
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Pollution around an oil well
Oil-well drilling pollution
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Water and land pollution. Trash dump with rusty oil cans.
Polluted land showing rusty old oil cans
US Fish & Wildlife Service
pollution pipe
Pollution pouring from a dredge pipe
US Fish & Wildlife Service
dead otter exxon valdez spill
Dead otter recovered after Exxon Valdez Alaskan oil spill
US Fish & Wildlife Service
fish kill pollution spill
Fish kill after pollution spill
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Fish kill from pollution
Fish kill from pollution
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Scientists measuring and weighing fish killed by pollution
Scientists counting and measuring fish killed by a pollution spill
US Fish & Wildlife Service
River turned brown by pollution
Duck killed by oil pollution
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Dead fish floatingon the surface after Swanson Creek oil spill
Dead fish floating  on the surface after Swanson Creek oil spill. Photographer: Mary Hollinger, NODC biologist, NOAA.
US NOAA Photo Library
Swan covered in oil recovered from Swanson Creek oil spill.
Swan covered in oil recovered from Swanson Creek oil spill. Photographer: Mary Hollinger, NODC biologist, NOAA.
US NOAA Photo Library
Trash, garbage, litter pollution next to a highway
Pollution thrown by the side of a highway
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Sources of pollution: factories and ships
Sources of pollution: factories and ships
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Industrial plant next to a river
Industrial plant next to a river
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Bubbles of detergent pollution in a river
Detergent pollution in a river
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Litter garbage trash pollution washed onto a beach from the sea
Litter pollution washed onto a beach from the sea
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Litter pollution in a creek/stream
Litter pollution in a creek/stream
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Trash, garbage, discarded plastic bottles and pollution in an otherwise pristine wetland area
Litter pollution in a wetland area
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Trash polluting a waterway
Trash polluting a waterway. Photographer: Dr. James P. McVey, NOAA Sea Grant Program.
US NOAA Photo Library
Industrial pollution pours from pipe
Industrial pollution pouring out from a pipe
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Irrigation runoff
Irrigation runoff
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Agricultural chemicals (fertilizers or pesticides) being sprayed from a tractor
Agricultural chemicals (pesticides or fertilizers) being sprayed from an airplane
US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service
Spray of pesticide pollution circling underneath a crop-dusting helicopter
Pesticide pollution from a crop-duster helicopter
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Reducing the need for irrigation and fertilizer use
Reducing the need for irrigation and fertilizer use
US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service
A tractor spraying crops with fertilizer or pesticide
Crop-spraying tractor may be causing pollution
US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service
An airplane spraying crops with fertilizer or pesticide
Crop-spraying airplane may be causing pollution
US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service
A man wearing protective clothing and a face mask spraying pesticide or insectide
The dangers of spraying pesticides and the benefits of using less-harmful alternatives US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service
Algal bloom caused by fertilizer spraying
Algal bloom on a bayou caused by fertilizer run-off
US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service
Algal bloom and water pollution
Algae Accumulation, Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge
US Fish & Wildlife Service
A barge travels up a polluted waterway
Pollution caused by barge traffic, tankers, and shipping US Fish & Wildlife Service
Pollution warning sign in Utah
Pollution sign warning about the dangers of contaminated fish and waterfowl
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Pollution caused by sand and gravel mining
Pollution caused by runoff from sand and gravel mines into rivers and watercourses.
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Pollution over Mexico City seen from space
Satellite photo: pollution over Mexico City
NASA Image Exchange
Hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica
Hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica
NASA GRIN
Satellite photo: Korea and the Sea of Japan are obscured by swirls of pollution
Satellite photo: Korea and the Sea of Japan are obscured by swirls of pollution NASA Image Exchange
Oil slicks off the coast of Qatar, Persian Gulf
Oil slicks off the coast of Qatar, Persian Gulf caused by tanker movements
NASA Image Exchange
Air pollution coming from a smokestack (chimney)
Air pollution coming from a smokestack (chimney)
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Pollution from a smokestack (chimney)
Air pollution from a smokestack (chimney). Photo by DOE/NREL. Picture ref: 00560. US DOE/NREL
Traffic causing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions
Traffic causing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo by Warren Gretz courtesy of DOE/NREL. Picture ref: 10967. US DOE/NREL
Smoggy haze over Denver, Colorado
Smoggy haze over Denver, Colorado. Photo by Warren Gretz courtesy of DOE/NREL. Picture ref: 10647. US DOE/NREL
Smog caused by temperature inversion over Denver, Colorado
Smog caused by temperature inversion over Denver, Colorado. Photo by David Parsons courtesy of DOE/NREL. Picture ref: 07308. US DOE/NREL
Coastal erosion caused by jetskis
Coastal erosion caused by jetskis. Photographer: Mary Hollinger, NODC biologist, NOAA.
US NOAA Photo Library
Flooding caused by erosion and extreme high tides
Flooding caused by erosion and extreme high tides. Photographer: Mary Hollinger, NODC biologist, NOAA. 
US NOAA Photo Library
Volunteers help to clear trash from the shoreline of Baltimore Harbour
Volunteers help to clear trash from the shoreline of Baltimore Harbour. Photographer: Mary Hollinger, NODC biologist, NOAA.
US NOAA Photo Library
Vlunteers help to clear trash from the shoreline of Baltimore Harbour.
Volunteers help to clear trash from the shoreline of Baltimore Harbour. Photographer: Mary Hollinger, NODC biologist, NOAA. US NOAA Photo Library
Oil emulsion floating in a marsh, Dixon Bay
Oil emulsion floating in a marsh, Dixon Bay. Photo by NOAA Restoration Center.
US NOAA Photo Library: Restoration Center
Old industrial site near the Great Lakes
Old industrial site, Great Lakes. Photo by United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Great Lakes National Program office. US EPA
Junk cars in Illinois River, Peoria, Illinois
Junk cars in Illinois River, Peoria, Illinois. Photo by Romy Myszka, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

US EPA
Point-source water pollution
Pollution pours from a pipe into a watercourse. Photo by US National Park Service, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. US EPA
zebra mussels
Zebra mussel (an example of an invasive species) on native mussel. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service US Fish & Wildlife Service
Pollution in the Mississippi delta
Satellite image of changes from erosion, pollution, and other problems in the Mississippi Delta from 1973 to 2003.
USGS Landsat
Pollution entering the River Potomac
Pollution entering the Potomac River (aerial photo) US Fish & Wildlife Service
Pollution in the Mississippi delta
21 different photo galleries here, including lots of great photos of the Exxon Valdez, Amoco Cadiz, and other notorious oil tanker spills. US NOAA Ocean Service Office of Response and Restoration
Run-off pollution around an acid mine being filmed
Collecting video evidence of run-off from an acid mine
US Fish & Wildlife Service

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