The Gulf is a semi-enclosed marine system surrounded by eight countries, most undergoing substantial development. This extensive coastal development may now be the single most important anthropogenic stressor. The Gulf now faces greater environmental risks than most inhabitants of the bordering states realize, and its degradation could have serious ramifications for their quality of life. There is a need to build awareness of the environmental risks of current practices, enhance regional capacity for coastal management, and build collaborative management of this important, shared marine system.

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