Marine debris at nesting grounds used by the Northern Gulf of Mexico loggerhead recovery unit
Anthropogenic marine debris (AMD) can cause obstructions for nesting marine turtles and hatchlings, increase their exposure to toxicants, and potentially alter the incubating environment of clutches. Given the potential impacts of AMD on marine turtles, this study provides baseline information on the abundance and distribution of AMD at the ten highest density nesting beaches in Florida used by the Northern Gulf of Mexico Loggerhead Recovery Unit. Monitoring for AMD at nesting beaches was conducted in 2017 following protocols from the International Coastal Cleanup. AMD was present at all the nesting beaches, with the majority of AMD observed at the westernmost sites beginning with St. Joseph Peninsula State Park (363 AMD/km) with a gradual decrease of abundance to the easternmost site, Alligator Point (16 AMD/km). Plastic and foam items accounted for 92% (n = 13,566) of all AMD found.
Marine Pollution Bulletin
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Garrison, Samantha R. and Fuentes, Mariana M.P.B., "Marine debris at nesting grounds used by the Northern Gulf of Mexico loggerhead recovery unit" (2019). UNF Faculty Publications. 962.