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Microbeads Pose Pollution Threat

Doing something as simple as washing your hair may raise a new threat to aquatic health. Many personal-care products have been formulated with plastic beads the size of a sand grain — known as microbeads — which add a gritty texture. Microbeads are designed to be flushed down the drain.

Difficult Choices

Many seashore dwellers face a tough question: How should they protect their property from rising seas and pounding waves? They can try to keep the surf at bay by building walls, or they can adjust to the slow but steady encroachment of the ocean.

OSU Opens Port Orford Field Station

Students, divers, and scientists can explore the spectacular waters of the southern Oregon coast through a new Oregon State University field station in Port Orford. An outgrowth of efforts to support research at the nearby Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve, the station provides space for experiments and classes as well as a fill station for scuba tanks.

A Research Ship for the 21st Century

Our view of the oceans is expanding regularly: Underwater gliders patrol the Pacific, moored buoys monitor hot spots and satellites view swirling currents from near-Earth orbit. But, says Clare Reimers, we still need ships to put people on the water, to conduct the kind of science that requires a human touch.

Acidification Likely to Intensify

West coast waters are likely to see continued impacts from acidification, warming temperatures and low-oxygen conditions. That’s the conclusion of a report in the journal BioScience co-authored by Francis Chan in the Oregon State College of Science.

Acidic Seawater Threatens Shellfish

The Pacific Northwest, famous for its delectable fried oysters and succulent steamed clams, is one of several coastal “hot spots” where shellfish are subject to “acidification” — seawater whose chemistry is becoming corrosive because of greenhouse gases.