Over 50 percent of the population in the United States and over 60 percent in the world live in coastal areas. Rapidly growing human populations near the ocean have massively altered coastal water ecosystems.
One of the most extensive human stressors is the discharge of chemicals and pollutants into the ocean. In the Southern California Bight, more than 60 sewage and urban runoff sources discharge over 1 billion gallons of liquid on a dry day with the two largest sources of contaminants being sewage from municipal treatment plants and urban runoff from highly modified river basins. (more…)