Ribeiro, V.V.; Póvoa, A.A.; De-la-Torre, G.E., and Castro, Í.B., 2022. Indexing anthropogenic litter as a contamination gradient from rivers to beaches in southeast Brazil. Journal of Coastal Research, 38(6), 1172–1180. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

Rivers are important contributors to marine anthropogenic litter (AL), but riparian vegetation remains to date poorly investigated. Brazilian AL study procedures are unstandardized while overlooking sources and river contributions. Boiçucanga is located in a highly visited Brazilian city, with an urban gradient from a river stream towards the beach between a state park and a marine protected area. This study used a multi-indexing approach to assess sources, distribution, and composition of AL at Boiçucanga riparian forest and beach locations. Cigarette butts (CBs) and smoking were the most common AL composition and source, following the urban gradient. CBs leak pollutants, representing a hazardous form of AL. Despite being very clean, AL was found in all sites, showing a level of threat to this highly environmentally vulnerable area. Personal protective equipment items related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are becoming a ubiquitous issue worldwide, representing 0.8% of AL in this study. These study results provide a better understanding of the multiple variables influencing AL contamination in riparian ecosystems and beaches.

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