By: Sherry Lippiatt, California Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program
Ever joined a beach cleanup or shoreline survey and wondered “where did all of this marine debris come from?" In reality, there are likely multiple sources including direct littering by beachgoers, wind, stormwater runoff, and the ocean itself. In California, the relative significance of these sources changes seasonally. California is unique in that we have distinct wet (October through March) and dry (April through September) weather seasons, which have a big influence on the amount of trash that travels through stormwater systems and eventually makes its way to our coastlines.