Marine Debris Point Source Investigation: Padre Island National Seashore, March 1994-September 1995




Miller, John E. and Darrell L. Echols

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


b U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region


The shoreline of Padre Island National Seashore is one of the most polluted in the United States. Marine debris pollution is the foremost natural resource problem at the National Seashore and is responsible for numerous wildlife injuries and deaths from entanglement and ingestion. Debris in the form of toxic chemicals and medical waste pose a health and safety hazard to the public.... The primary focus of this report is to analyze the numbers of specific debris items associated with the offshore oil and gas industry per month for 18 months (March 1, 1994 - September 30, 1995). Results of this research have indicated the offshore oil and gas industry is suspected of contributing 13% of all debris collected. Of the 63,000 debris items collected from the study site during the 18-month project, the offshore oil and gas industry was tentatively identified for 8,063 items. However, it must be point out that, unlike the debris associated with the commercial shrimping industry, which has been statistically correlated to that specific point source, several of the debris item categories associated with the oil and gas industry are also used by other marine industries. Consequently, many of these debris items could have been discarded by those sources.


31 pgs.


marine debris, marine pollution, pollution, debris, shrimp industry, environmental aspects, law, legislation, offshore oil industry, offshore gas industry