A new Rutgers University study finds polluted stretches of the New Jersey coast are not as bad as scientists once thought.

Marine scientists have studied pollution-sensitive sea creatures on the ocean floor since 2007. They found numbers of types of animals that indicate healthy water conditions.

Researcher Michael Kennish says the study shows dissolved oxygen levels are not the only way to determine the health of coastal waters. While state and federal officials declared New Jersey's near-shore waters as 100 percent impaired in 2004, there were no major die-offs of fish or bottom-dwelling sea creatures.

 

The study involved scooping small animals from the ocean floor from 153 sites from Sandy Hook to Cape May.

The results show the waters to be in better shape than scientists had thought.

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