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Marine litter and microplastic pollution on mangrove soils of the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, Colombian Caribbean

Garcés-Ordóñez, Ostin, Castillo-Olaya, Victoria A., Granados-Briceño, Andrés F., Blandón, Lina, Espinosa Díaz, Luisa F.
Marine pollution bulletin 2019
human health, mangrove soils, marine debris, microplastics, risk, socioeconomic factors, waste management, water pollution, Caribbean, Colombia
Marine litter pollution has become a complex global problem, because of the negative ecological and socioeconomic impacts as well as the human health risks that it represents. In Colombia, mangroves are affected by inadequate solid waste management, which results in litter accumulation. Additionally, the information related to this problem is limited avoiding the development of prevention and reduction strategies. For the first time, pollution by marine litter and microplastics were evaluated in mangrove soils of the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, where 540 ± 137 and 31 ± 23 items/ha of marine litter were determined in mangroves near and away from populated centers respectively. Plastics represented between 73 and 96% of litter, and microplastic quantity oscillated between 31 and 2863 items/kg finding the highest concentrations in mangroves near to the population. This study contributes to the knowledge of the marine litter problem in mangroves of the Colombian Caribbean, becoming a help for their conservation.