Mapping Miami’s Marine Debris: Totals

For my GIS’s class project this semester, I mapped marine litter collected and logged in Miami. I had some very clear hypothesis. I expected to see more litter collected from public areas, like beaches and downtown waterfronts, then private areas, like gated communities. I expected the different materials (glass, plastic, fishing gear, rubber, metal and paper/lumber) to have different dispersion because of their different densities. I wanted to do a spatial analysis to see where cleanup occur, and more importantly where they do not occur. Over the next four days I will be sharing my results, interpretations, and implications.

Total Items: 

It wasn’t surprising that most of the trash was concentrated in the northern part of Biscayne Bay. Nor that hot spots appeared around Matheson Hammock, or cold spots on Miami Beach. Despite what it looks like, there was not a significant trend between hot and cold spots.

Matheson Park’s marine is very popular for private boats to anchor, and because the adjacent coastline is thick mangroves, trash gets caught there. Miami Beach is a very large tourist destination and is groomed with tractors, which does not report what or how much trash is collected, which probably accounts for the cold spots.


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