Sea debris is a problem on the coastline around the world – and the Gulf of Mexico is no exception.
From February 2015 to August 2017, researchers watched sea debris stranded on the coast every month in 12 different locations on nine barrier islands from North Padre Island, Texas to Santa Rosa, Florida.
The study found that 10 times more garbage was washed on the Texas coast than in other Gulf countries throughout the year.
Most of the waste, 69 to 95 percent, is plastic, according to the study. Plastic items include bottles and bottle caps, straws, and broken plastic pieces. The researchers also cited that more garbage was stranded on land during spring and summer. This could be because more people are outside and on the water all this time.
The researchers also found that the amount of debris that accumulated along the coastline can be predicted with a high level of confidence in areas with high freshwater waves.