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Study of Socioeconomic Drivers of Marine Debris Pollution in North America
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A majority of the world’s oceans are increasingly getting threatened by marine pollution, causing losses to sectors and industries that rely on it, including fishing, shipping, tourism and seafood industries. This study focuses on marine pollution by marine debris, which constitutes any solid or processed material floating in the ocean, finding its way purely by anthropogenic factors. This research is aimed at understanding socioeconomic footprints on marine environment in terms of debris accumulation and how the existence of social capital, proxied by voter turnouts, can contribute to curbing marine debris pollution. The study area consists of coastal counties located in eight states of the U.S., and employs data from NOAA and the U.S. Census Bureau. The results from Poisson regression indicates that marine debris increases with income, however at higher income level the amount of pollution starts to decline, supporting the “Environmental Kuznets Hypothesis.” This study found overwhelming evidence of human impacts potentially threatening the quality of marine environment. The knowledge and awareness of human influences on marine environment is the crucial step for environmental managers to lay down policies and undertake preventive actions to mitigate them.
Alisha, . (2017). Study of Socioeconomic Drivers of Marine Debris Pollution in North America. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from