Sea turtle nesting beaches threatened by microplastic pollution


Date: May 1, 2018

Source: Florida State University

Summary: Tiny pieces of plastic could be jeopardizing sensitive sea turtle nesting beaches.

Plastic is famous for its unyielding durability, making it perfect for consumer products but a unique and persistent menace to the natural environment.

For the loggerhead sea turtles that nest on the once-pristine beaches bounding the Gulf of Mexico, millimeters-thick pieces of broken down plastic — called microplastics — pose a particularly urgent threat.

A new study from Florida State University researchers shows that increasing microplastic accumulation along the Gulf’s beaches could alter the composition of shoreline sand and jeopardize the turtles’ sensitive incubation environments.

Their findings were published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin.

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