Assessment of Microplastic Pollution Sources in the Coastal Recreational Zones

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of Animal Physiology and Biochemistry, A. O. Kovalevsky Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas of RAS, 299011, Sevastopol, Russian Federation


The authors propose a methodology for assessing the sources of microplastic pollution (particles 0.5-5 mm in size), which makes it possible to differentiate coastal recreational areas according to the degree of vulnerability to microplastic accumulation. The methodology takes into account the sources of microplastics coming to the beach directly from vacationers - factors of recreational activities, as well as the influence of factors of the adjacent territory: the type of adjacent territory, saturation with transport infrastructure, etc. An analysis of the results of monitoring the microplastic concentration in beach and bottom sediments of seven beaches of the Sevastopol region with varying degrees of anthropogenic load during 2018–2020, as well as an assessment of the sources of microplastic pollution on these beaches using the proposed methodology, made it possible to differentiate these coastal recreational areas according to the degree of vulnerability to accumulation of microplastic pollution. The most vulnerable are the beaches that are actively visited by tourists and located in close proximity to large blocks of apartment buildings and extensive transport infrastructure (Pesochniy and Omega). The beaches Konstantinovsky and Goryachka (placed close tothe thermal power station), located in the zone of active navigation of ships of various tonnage, are confined to areas of low and moderate pollution. The main stream of vacationers on them are local residents with a high turnover rate. The least vulnerable are the beaches with park areas: Uchkuevka, Solnechny and Zolotoy. The source of microplastic pollution on these beaches is mainly vacationers.


Main Subjects

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