Do you know what to do if stuck in a rip current? Watch our video before you head to the beach.

NOAA's National Ocean Service

a  graphic showing runoff from the Mississippi River flowing into the Gulf of Mexico

Eutrophication: A big word that describes a big problem in the nation's estuaries.

Higher than normal tides are expected for most coastal regions of the nation between July 12-16. Visit our tide bulletin to view your region's outlook.


A view from the leeward side: Kaena Point, Oahu, Hawaii.

An island’s windward side faces the prevailing, or trade, winds, whereas the island’s leeward side faces away from the wind, sheltered from prevailing winds by hills and mountains. As trade winds blow across the ocean, they pick up moist air from the water. Once the damp air makes landfall on an island, it ascends hills and mountains to form condensation, clouds, and precipitation. As the air moves to the other side of the island, it warms up and dries out. Thus, an island’s windward side is wetter and more verdant than its drier leeward side. Meteorologists call this contrast the orographic effect. As an example, the Hawaiian Islands have damp windward sides and drier leeward sides most of the time as a result of the Pacific Ocean’s northeasterly trade winds.