Our health is intricately connected to the health of the ocean. When water quality is poor, beaches dirty, or seafood tainted, communities, economies, and ecosystems all suffer. The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) monitors coastal contaminants and their effects on the local marine environment to identify problem areas that need attention. NOS also produces advance warnings of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and then provides science to monitor bloom development. HABs produce potent toxins, which can cause illness or death in humans and marine organisms.