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Eutrophication in Coastal Estuaries

"Eutrophication is the long-term increase in the supply of organic material to an ecosystem, often as a result of excess nutrients. Signs of eutrophication in coastal waters include increased phytoplankton growth, increased growth of macroalgae and epiphytes (plants that overgrow other plants), low dissolved oxygen, harmful algal blooms, and loss of seagrasses. Typically one or more of these symptoms is seen over large areas and/or persistently within the estuary." (Excerpt from "Marine Pollution in the United States," published by the Pew Oceans Commission, 2001, pg. 21)

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