Questions about Newport Backbay

Went kayaking in the Newport back bay today, and noticed a few things:
  1. There is grass growing in the saltwater. It doesn't look that healthy, but it's green and living. How does it live?
  2. The soil underneath is very dark and oily. Why?
  3. There's a lot of trash in unusual places. Why?
  4. There was a bird that flew close to the surface of the water, with it's mouth open, the lower half in the water. It had orange coloration around it's beak. What kind of bird was that?
  5. There was another bird eating a fish. It was white with dark coloring around your head?

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