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Beach Closures

Hundreds of beaches nationwide are closed each year due to the presence of potentially harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites in the water.

Marine Microplastics

Marine microplastics are small fragments of plastic debris that are less than five millimeters long. Some microplastics, known as primary microplastics, are “micro” by design

Oil Spills

The systematic study of oil in the ocean is relatively new to science, but since the late 1960s it has grown to encompass almost every area of oceanography.


The background level of radiation in oceans and seas varies around the globe. Measured in atomic disintegrations per second (Becquerels) of cesium-137 in a cubic meter of water.