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Located in a politically volatile region at the center of the world's most important and accessible oil deposits, the Persian Gulf is one of the most environmentally vulnerable bodies of water in the world. Within the past few decades small fishing villages on the Trucial Coast, the coastline of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, have experienced phenomenal economic growth. Dubai, for example, has become a hub for air and sea transport, finance, and trade throughout Eurasia. This development has led to a significant increase in pollution and ship traffic in the gulf.

The Persian Gulf wars in Iraq and Kuwait and Saddam Hussein's destructive environmental warfare have left a harmful environmental legacy. Crisscrossed by oil pipelines, dotted by refineries and ...

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