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Padre Island National Seashore marine debris mapping project

Posted at 6:09 AM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 07:09:20-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS — The Padre Island National Seashore has teamed up with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to start the marine debris mapping project.

“Because what we are trying to do, and what NOAA is trying to do is we are trying to discover how bad the marine debris problem is, how it might be changing over time, and also, we want to know what are the most common types of debris are,” said Chief of Interpretation and Education Chuck Lassiter.

This program is vital to our area's beaches. Marine debris and shoreline trash have a severe impact.

“They have ecological impacts because it can maim and kill wildlife. In addition to the ecological impacts, aesthetically not very pleasing, it can also have economic impacts, because people may not want to come to the beaches because there is too much trash on it,” said Lassiter.

This, along with the influx of beachgoers leaving trash behind over the last few months, has caused a big problem.

“We know there is a big problem here at Padre Island National Seashore because of the currents converging here. And just the shape of the Gulf causes two currents to converge here in this area. So we know marine debris is a huge problem,” said Lassiter.

A lot of the trash that washes up on our beaches comes from as far away as South America and the Atlantic Ocean. More than 90 percent of all trash is plastic. Researchers say by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.

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