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Plastics Widespread in Florida Coastal Waterways

Wikimedia Commons
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

New research shows plastic pollution is widespread in Florida’s coastal waters.

The University of Florida study is the first looking at the distribution of plastics and microplastics in coastal waters statewide.

Lead researcher Maia McGuire says volunteers collected 1,000 samples and found at least one plastic item in nearly 90 percent of the samples.

“To me that’s pretty alarming. You can dip a one-liter bottle into the water anywhere around the state and almost guarantee there’s going to be at least one piece of plastic in it.”

She says especially concerning are microplastics, tiny pieces from items like bottles and also from synthetic fabrics like those used in sportswear.

The health impacts are not well-understood.