Calhoun, W.R. and Ezell, E.K., 0000. Marine debris on a protected barrier island in the southeastern United States (St. Catherines Island, Georgia, USA).

Marine debris is a global issue with ecological, societal, and economic impacts, but its severity on southeastern North American beaches remains poorly understood. Abundance, composition, and distribution of meso- and macrodebris on St. Catherines Island, a protected barrier island off the coast of Georgia, were estimated in June 2021. The island’s 19.4 km of beaches hold an estimated 5522 items (95% confidence interval = 4361–6457) of easily visible anthropogenic marine debris, with a total end-to-end length of 1.1 km (0.7–1.6 km). The N and S ends of the island were identified as plastic debris hot spots by comparing the distributions of anthropogenic and natural debris. Although average debris density (0.012 items m−2) was lower than most global and national averages, this study highlights the vulnerability of remote and undeveloped barrier islands as sinks for marine pollution.

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