Event Title

Can Environmental Protection Reduce the Anthropogenic Effects of Marine Debris?

Location

Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center Facility

Start

5-20-2016 5:15 PM

End

5-20-2016 5:30 PM

Description

The impacts of marine debris in coastal environments is an increasing threat to marine life. In response to the suite of assaults and continuous degradation of coral reefs and shorelines, scientists are working to understand the processes, transport, deposition, accumulation, and effects on the marine ecosystem. While investigations on marine debris are increasing, the knowledge of its role in the marine ecosystems is limited. The objective of this study is to investigate whether shoreline and marine protection reduces marine debris in coastal habitats of South Florida. This study aims to examine marine debris on shorelines and on coral reef habitats and to understand how to improve our local management of this increasingly devastating issue to our oceans and planet. An extensive scientific literature review in combination with field experiments and data analysis revealed that shoreline protection can decrease presence of debris on coastal shorelines in Dania Beach and Hollywood Florida, however the same was not observed for marine protected areas. Protected areas within the Florida National Marine Sanctuary were found to have more debris within boundaries than unprotected waters along the northern section of the Florida Reef Tract. Utilizing shoreline surveys along with the NOAA fisheries Reef fish Visual Census’s marine debris database helped identify areas of most concern for marine debris. This study also assisted determining whether the present management and regulations to decrease debris from the environment are effective. Understanding the high variability of factors that affect distributions of debris is essential for developing remediation efforts. This study aims to assist improving local management of marine debris in protected areas, identify localities of debris for removal efforts and efforts to solve remediation towards a destructive threat to our oceans. For Science Jamboree, only shoreline data and results will be presented.

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May 20th, 5:15 PM May 20th, 5:30 PM

Can Environmental Protection Reduce the Anthropogenic Effects of Marine Debris?

Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center Facility

The impacts of marine debris in coastal environments is an increasing threat to marine life. In response to the suite of assaults and continuous degradation of coral reefs and shorelines, scientists are working to understand the processes, transport, deposition, accumulation, and effects on the marine ecosystem. While investigations on marine debris are increasing, the knowledge of its role in the marine ecosystems is limited. The objective of this study is to investigate whether shoreline and marine protection reduces marine debris in coastal habitats of South Florida. This study aims to examine marine debris on shorelines and on coral reef habitats and to understand how to improve our local management of this increasingly devastating issue to our oceans and planet. An extensive scientific literature review in combination with field experiments and data analysis revealed that shoreline protection can decrease presence of debris on coastal shorelines in Dania Beach and Hollywood Florida, however the same was not observed for marine protected areas. Protected areas within the Florida National Marine Sanctuary were found to have more debris within boundaries than unprotected waters along the northern section of the Florida Reef Tract. Utilizing shoreline surveys along with the NOAA fisheries Reef fish Visual Census’s marine debris database helped identify areas of most concern for marine debris. This study also assisted determining whether the present management and regulations to decrease debris from the environment are effective. Understanding the high variability of factors that affect distributions of debris is essential for developing remediation efforts. This study aims to assist improving local management of marine debris in protected areas, identify localities of debris for removal efforts and efforts to solve remediation towards a destructive threat to our oceans. For Science Jamboree, only shoreline data and results will be presented.