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Accumulation and distribution of marine debris on barrier islands across the northern Gulf of Mexico
  • Published Date:
  • Source:
    Marine Pollution Bulletin, 139, 14-22.
Filetype[PDF-1.17 MB]

  • Description:
    Marine debris is an economic, environmental, human health, and aesthetic problem posing a complex challenge to communities around the globe. To better document this problem in the Gulf of Mexico we monitored the occurrence and accumulation rate of marine debris at twelve sites on nine barrier islands from North Padre Island, Texas to Santa Rosa, Florida. With this information we are investigating three specific questions: (1) what are the major types/sources of marine debris; (2) does debris deposition have seasonal oscillations; and (3) how does debris deposition change spatially? Several trends emerged; plastic composed 69–95% of debris; there was a significant increase in debris accumulation during the spring and summer seasons; accumulation rates were ten times greater in Texas than the other Gulf States throughout the year; and the amount of debris accumulating along the shoreline could be predicted with high confidence in areas with high freshwater influx.
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