New particle formation via secondary gas-to-particle conversion processes over the oceans is one of the main mechanisms controlling the marine aerosol number population; however, despite extensive effort over the years, this phenomenon is still not well quantified. Coastal new particle formation events are more frequent than open ocean events and consequently have been studied in greater detail. This review article summarizes the recent studies into coastal new particle formation events and summarizes the linkage of these events to iodine emissions and ultimate particle formation via iodine oxide nucleation processes. The current state of knowledge may be summarized by concluding that, in general, coastal nucleation events are driven by biogenic emissions of iodine vapours that undergo rapid chemical reactions to produce condensable iodine oxides leading to nucleation and growth of new particles. The primary source of the condensable iodine vapours is thought to be molecular iodine (12). The role of iodine oxides in open-ocean new particle production still remains an open question and is the most pressing next step to undertake.