Microplastic pollution in mangroves and beaches of the Cispata marine protected area, Colombian Caribbean Coast

Keywords: Marine litter, marine pollution, plastic debris, coastal ecosystems, Colombia

Abstract

Microplastics are emerging pollutants with a wide global distribution posing a risk to biodiversity and the livelihood of human communities. These particles are mostly transported by rivers from the inland to the marine-coastal ecosystems, where they accumulate and affect their environmental quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate microplastic pollution in mangroves and beaches of the Cispata marine protected area, Colombian Caribbean coast. In May 2018, three stations in the mangroves and two stations on the tourist beaches were selected, where microplastics were sampled in surface water and sediments, as well as visually identified under a stereoscope, counted to determine their abundance, and classified according to their shapes. Microplastic was more abundant in mangroves (from 13 to 123 items/m3 of water; from 72 to 1 668 items/m2 or from 42 to 1 825 items/kg of sediment) compared to beaches (from 0 to 0.13 items/m3 of water; from 8 to 36 items/m2 of sediment). In both ecosystems, films, foams, and fragments were the most common shapes, being related to deficient management of domestic waste, tourism, and fishing in the area. This study contributes to the knowledge of microplastic characteristics, distribution, and abundance in mangroves and beaches in the region in order to raise environmental awareness about the risks and promote actions to prevent and mitigate the negative impacts, especially in marine protected areas.

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Author Biography

Ostin Garcés Ordóñez, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras-INVEMAR

Grupo de investigación Calidad Ambiental Marina, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras-INVEMAR, calle 25 #2-55 Rodadero, Santa Marta, Colombia.

Grupo de Recerca Consolidat en Geociencias Marinas, Departamento de Dinámica de la Tierra y del Océano, Universitat de Barcelona, C/ Martí Franquès s/n,08028, Barcelona, España.

Red de Vigilancia para la Conservación y Protección de las Aguas Marinas y Costeras de Colombia - REDCAM, Santa Marta, Colombia.

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Published
2022-11-21
How to Cite
Garcés Ordóñez, O. (2022). Microplastic pollution in mangroves and beaches of the Cispata marine protected area, Colombian Caribbean Coast. Journal of Marine and Coastal Sciences, 9-25. https://doi.org/10.15359/revmar.14-2.1
Section
Scientific articles

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