Presentation Title

Plastic in the Surface waters of the Inside Passage and Salish Sea Beaches of Washington

Session Title

Plastic in the Salish Sea

Conference Track

Fate and Effects of Pollutants

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Abstract

We summarize results of two independent studies on plastic pollution in the marine environment that overlap in time and space. One study evaluated the abundance of anthropogenic debris on 37 sandy beaches bordering the Salish Sea in Washington State while the other characterized plastic debris in surface waters of the Salish Sea and the Inside Passage to Skagway, Alaska. Both studies concluded that foam, primarily expanded polystyrene was the dominant pollutant. Plastic was found in surface waters the full length of the Inside Passage but was concentrated near harbors. At the wrack line, an average square meter of Washington’s 1180 km of sandy beaches in the Salish Sea had 61 pieces of anthropogenic debris weighing approximately 5 g. The total loading for the entire 1 m wide band is estimated to be 72,000,000 pieces and 5.8 metric tons. Most anthropogenic debris on beaches is generated within the region.

_ 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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Plastic in the Surface waters of the Inside Passage and Salish Sea Beaches of Washington

2016SSEC

We summarize results of two independent studies on plastic pollution in the marine environment that overlap in time and space. One study evaluated the abundance of anthropogenic debris on 37 sandy beaches bordering the Salish Sea in Washington State while the other characterized plastic debris in surface waters of the Salish Sea and the Inside Passage to Skagway, Alaska. Both studies concluded that foam, primarily expanded polystyrene was the dominant pollutant. Plastic was found in surface waters the full length of the Inside Passage but was concentrated near harbors. At the wrack line, an average square meter of Washington’s 1180 km of sandy beaches in the Salish Sea had 61 pieces of anthropogenic debris weighing approximately 5 g. The total loading for the entire 1 m wide band is estimated to be 72,000,000 pieces and 5.8 metric tons. Most anthropogenic debris on beaches is generated within the region.

_ 2015 Elsevier Ltd.