Baseline meso-litter pollution in selected coastal beaches of Kenya: Where do we concentrate our intervention efforts?

Date of publication 17 August 2020

Authors Okuku, Eric Ochieng; Kiteresi, Linet Imbayi; Owato, Gilbert; Mwalugha, Catherine; Omire, Jill; Mbuche, Mary; Chepkemboi, Purity; Ndwiga, Joey; Nelson, Annette; Kenneth, Otieno; Lilian, Mulupi; Brenda, Gwada.

Sources Marine pollution bulletin : 158

DOILink https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111420

Abstract

A total of 23 beaches were surveyed between July and September 2019. Meso-litter was collected by sieving sediment collected from 0.25 m(2) quadrats laid along perpendicular transects through 5 mm mesh size sieves. The results showed that plastics were the most abundant litter encountered on all the beaches. Beaches close to urban areas had a higher number of litter categories (i.e. plastic, metal, foam, and paper) compared to the remote beaches that only had plastics. In conclusion, the lack of statistically significant evidence of the influence of proximity to urban centers, the predominant activity in the beaches, and exposure to wave action on the amount of meso-litter attest to the fact that marine litter pollution is a geographical spread problem that will require national, regional, and global action and approach to address. The intervention efforts (including beach cleanups) should preferably target beaches that have back vegetation compared to those with seawalls.

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