Volume 72

Spatial Trends and Drivers of Marine Debris Accumulation on shorelines in South Eulethera: The Bahamas Using Citizen Science

Ambrose, K., C. Box; J. Boxall; A. Brooks; M. Eriksen; J. Fabres; G. Fylakis; T.R. Walker
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 15-Dec

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


This study measured spatial distribution of marine debris stranded on beaches in South Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Citizen science, fetch modeling, relative exposure index and predictive mapping were used to determine marine debris source and abundance. Citizen scientists quantified debris type and abundance on 16 beaches within three coastal exposures (The Atlantic Ocean, Great Bahama Bank and The Exuma Sound) in South Eleuthera. Marine debris, (~2.5cm or larger) on each beach was monitored twice between March–May and September–November 2013 atthesamelocationsusingGPS.Approximately, 93% of all debris items were plastic with plastic fragments (≤ 2.5cm) being the most common. There were spatial differences (p ≤ 0.0001) in plastic debris abundance between coastal exposures.Atlantic Ocean beaches had larger quantities of plastic debris by weight and by meter (m) of shoreline. Stranded plastic may be associated with Atlantic Ocean currents associated with leakage from the North Atlantic sub-tropical gyre.

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