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The mid-Atlantic coast is home to some of the best fishing in the world. In addition, its beaches attract millions of visitors annually. The coast has experienced significant ecological changes over the last 40 years. Mid-Atlantic coastal waters suffer from the effects of the region's dense population and heavy industrial activity.

The Quality of Our Coastal Waters

A great percentage of our population lives within 50 miles of the coast and much of the land along the coast has been developed. Water testing shows that the ocean of the mid-Atlantic is highly affected by the flow into the ocean from the Hudson River, the Delaware River, and the Chesapeake Bay. Lake Erie is influenced by drainage from tributaries into the Great Lakes.

Water that falls on land can make its way to streams and rivers that empty into the ocean, carrying pollutants, such as fertilizers and pesticides from farms and homes. Pollution of the ocean also comes from:


Along the east coast, some indicators of water quality show improvement, while others indicate worsening conditions. Overall, the long-term trend is for increasing loads of contaminants in the ocean caused by an ever increasing population impacting the coastal area.


Getting Worse

Mid-Atlantic Region | Mid-Atlantic Env'l Assessment & Innovation | Mid-Atlantic Coast

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