Skidaway Institute of Oceanography | WABE 90.1 FM

Skidaway Institute of Oceanography

Stephen Morton / Associated Press

Trash on the beach: This may conjure an image of plastic bags or bottles washed up on the sand. But a lot of the plastic in the ocean is very small, even microscopic. It’s called microplastic, and a study of the Georgia coast finds that most it is coming from our laundry. The tiny threads of plastic out there floating in the ocean known as microfibers come from things like sheets and clothes.

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Carbon bubbles underwater at CO2 reef, Alotau, Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea
K. Fabricius

Scientists are fine-tuning what they know about rivers and marshes flushed with saltwater by ocean tides so they can better predict how rising sea levels will reshape the Georgia coast over the next century.

Studies show that rising seas are slowly flooding low-lying areas of dry land along the coast. As its waters creep inland, the Atlantic Ocean is pushing saltwater further upstream into river systems and making coastal marshes even wetter.