Sustaining healthy coasts through research and nationwide monitoring
Almost half of America's coastal waters are closed to fishing or swimming because
they are too polluted. Chemicals,
nutrients and low oxygen (hypoxia), invasive species, and disease-causing bacteria and viruses
threaten our seafood supply, our health and sometimes our livelihoods.
Over the past 30 years, the U.S. has substantially reduced industrial and chemical
pollution from pipes and other point sources. Tackling the more pervasive nonpoint
sources - runoff from urban areas and agricultural fields and deposition from the
atmosphere - has proven more difficult.
NCCOS studies and
monitors the effects of coastal pollution nationwide. These results provide communities
with the information and tools they need to identify pollution "hotspots" and to
develop practices and policies that reduce pollution and improve coastal health.
We specialize in studying the cumulative impacts of changing coastal land use, climate,
NCCOS Coastal Pollution research is focused on the following subjects and programs.