A new study catalogs marine debris found on the coast of the Gulf Coast state, determining the type of waste that is swept to the coast, and the amount found in different states. According to the findings, plastic consists of the majority of garbage, in some cases as much as 95 percent, including items such as straws and plastic bottles.
This research came from Mission-Aransas National Estuarine and Dauphin Island Sea Lab. The researchers spent two years monitoring sea debris stranded on the beaches of the Gulf state, cataloging the types of waste and the frequency of their appearance and where they were found.
A total of 12 different locations were monitored during this period on nine different islands ranging from Santa Rosa in Florida to North Padre Island in Texas. Monitoring takes place from February 2015 to August 2017.
It is not surprising that the majority of marine debris is plastic items, including pieces of broken plastic and general plastic items such as straws, bottles and bottle caps. Larger amounts of waste are found in spring and summer; plastic consists of 69- and 95 percent.
Increased coastal waste is likely caused by more people outside the home in warmer seasons. However, the researchers were surprised by one finding: Texas experienced 10 times the amount of marine waste on its coast than in the entire Gulf state.