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Debris is not a cheese: litter in coastal Louisiana

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Abstract

An 18-month study of six Louisiana beaches determined the extent, composition, and possible sources of beach litter. Data showed that from 2590 to 23,154 items may be encountered along any one-mile stretch of Louisiana beach, depending upon location and season, and that densities of litter ranged from 5 to 28 items per 100 m2. Plastics constituted 47% of the total, followed by polystyrene at 16% and glass at 10%. Drink-related items accounted for 40% of the identifiable material; operational wastes, 21%; galley wastes, 15%; personal items, 11%; and fishing items, 6%. Litter laws already exist at state and federal levels. Strict enforcement of Annex V of MARPOL should significantly reduce plastic beach litter. Solutions to beach litter will come from public participation in adopt-a-beach programs and statewide clean-ups and from educational programs focusing on existing laws, proper disposal methods, recycling, and the threat litter poses to wildlife and public health.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Debris is not a cheese: litter in coastal Louisiana
Volume 2
Issue pt2
Year Published 1989
Language English
Publisher Publ by ASCE
Publisher location New York, NY, United States
Larger Work Title Coastal Zone: Proceedings of the Symposium on Coastal and Ocean Management
First page 1297
Last page 1310
Conference Title Coastal Zone '89: Proceedings of the Sixth Symposium on Coastal and Ocean Management
Conference Location Charleston, SC, USA
Conference Date 11 July 1989 through 14 July 1989