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Geophysical features influence the accumulation of beach debris on Caribbean islands

Schmuck, AM, Lavers, JL ORCID: 0000-0001-7596-6588, Stuckenbrock, S, Sharp, PB and Bond, AL 2017 , 'Geophysical features influence the accumulation of beach debris on Caribbean islands' , Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 121, no. 1-2 , pp. 45-51 , doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.05.043.

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Abstract

Anthropogenic beach debris was recorded during beach surveys of 24 Caribbean islands during April 2014–April2016. Beach debris was classified according to material type (e.g., polystyrene) and item use (e.g., fishing).Geophysical features (substrate type, beach direction, and human accessibility) of sample sites were recorded inorder to investigate their relationship with debris density. Results suggest the density of macro debris(items> 5 mm) is highest on uninhabited, sandy beaches facing a leeward direction. Higher debris quantitieson inaccessible beaches may be due to less frequent beach clean ups. Frequently accessed beaches exhibitedlower macro, but higher micro debris (items 1–5 mm) densities, possibly due to removal of macro debris duringfrequent beach clean ups. This suggests that while geophysical features have some influence on anthropogenicdebris densities, high debris densities are occurring on all islands within the Caribbean region regardless ofsubstrate, beach direction, or human accessibility.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Schmuck, AM and Lavers, JL and Stuckenbrock, S and Sharp, PB and Bond, AL
Keywords: marine debris, plastic pollution, citizen science, Caribbean Sea
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN: 0025-326X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.05.043
Copyright Information:

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd

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