Survey and findings of beach debris on Mustang Island, Texas




Amos, Anthony F.

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The survey has been conducted since April 1978 to study the long-term variations in bird population along a 12-km stretch of Mustang Island Gulf beach in South Texas. Demographic and environmental variables have been measured in an attempt to assess the effect of human activities and seasonal variability of the beach environment in this area. During the study period, an increase in its use for commercial and recreational fishing, merchant and military marine transportation, offshore oil and gas activities, tourism, and residential and industrial development has occurred. Despite a recent downturn in some of these activities, the incidence of man-made debris and litter on the barrier island beaches continues to be a problem for marine and beach animals, as well as severely detracting from the aesthetic appeal of the beach. The economies of local communities have been hurt by the negative publicity, as have the various industries (offshore oil and gas, shrimping, sport-fishing, tourism) frequently cited as the source of this debris.