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Tourism Affecting Amounts of Marine Debris and Microplastic at Samui Island, Southern Thailand

Student(s):Kanuth Nichachotesalid, Kulyanist Somchoue, Napas Siriwansant, Naphat Somboonhansa, Natcha Takmatcha, Natnicha Monaiyakul, Nirin Saengsingsak, Nopasorn Wilairattanaporn, Nuttanon Kitpanaporn, Panpariya Kohkaew, Patcharaporn Jantapaluek, Peeranat Vatvittayaklung, Piyapat Suksamlan, Ploynapat Yothinprapasin, Saruch Santhidej, Sorawit Wantanakorn, Waranya Akamanuwatr and Waristha Tortraku
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Teacher:
Contributors:Sittichoke Boonchaulaew and Suchada Sattamun
Date Submitted: 03/17/2020

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The amount of marine debris in the environment is increasing worldwide, which results in an array of negative effects to biota. This study provides the first account of marine debris and microplastics on the beach and in the sediment (shoreline and infralittoral) in relation to tourism activities on Samui Islands, southern Thailand. The study assessed the quality and quantity of marine debris and the quality, size and quantity of microplastics at three beaches, contrasting those under the influences of tourism and those that were not. Marine debris was counted from ground survey using applied ICC method. Microplastics with a size larger than 1 mm were counted, classified and photographed. Over 90.02% of marine debris was plastic, and microplastics were ubiquitous, which calls for classification of plastics as hazardous materials. A popular tourism beach with frequent cleaning seemed to have an effect on less macrodebris or microplastic quantity detected. Recommendations for future assessments are provided for Samui District Organization Office.