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This paper presents the modeling of an underwater wireless optical communication channel using the vector radiative transfer theory. The vector radiative transfer equation captures the multiple scattering nature of natural water, and also includes the polarization behavior of light. Light propagation in an underwater environment encounters scattering effect creating dispersion which introduces inter-symbol-interference to the data communication. The attenuation effect further reduces the signal to noise ratio. Both scattering and absorption have adverse effects on underwater data communication. Using a channel model based on radiative transfer theory, we can quantify the scattering effect as a function of distance and bit rate by numerical Monte Carlo simulations. We also investigate the polarization behavior of light in the underwater environment, showing the significance of the cross-polarization component when the light encounters more scattering.