The garbage, especially the plastic, ocean and coastline, is a financial, qualitative, health and aesthetic problem that causes serious challenges to coastal communities around the world, including the Gulf of Mexico.
Researchers from the Dauphin Sea Laboratory and the Mission Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve joined a two-year study to document the problem along the Gulf Coast coastline. Their findings are documented in the publication, accumulation and distribution of marine debris in the barrier islands across the Gulf of Mexico, at ScienceDirect's Marine sea pollution.
From February 2015 to August 2017, researchers continued to track the marine debris washed off the coast each month at 12 different sites on nine islands of obstacles north of Padre Island, Texas to Santa Rosa, Florida. Trash was classified by type, frequency, and location.
The most shocking discovery was a 10-fold devaluation of the Texas coast from all other Gulf states throughout the year.
Most of the garbage, 69% to 95%, was plastic. The plastic items included bottles and bottle caps, straw and broken plastic fragments. The researchers also noted that more manure washed ashore during spring and summer. It could be that more people are out there and in the water during this time.
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