A baseline assessment of beach debris and tar contamination in Bonaire, Southeastern Caribbean

Debrot, A.O.; Rijn, J. van; Bron, P.S.; Leon, R.


Data on beach debris and tar contamination is provided for 21 natural beach sites in Bonaire, Southeastern Caribbean. Transects amounting to a combined length of 991 m were sampled March–May 2011 and a total of 8960 debris items were collected. Highest debris and tar contamination were found on the beaches of the windward east-coast of the island where geometric mean debris concentrations (± approx. 70% confidence limits) were 115 ± 58 items m-1 and 3408 ± 1704 g m-1 of beach front. These levels are high compared to data collected almost 20 years earlier on the nearby island of Curaçao. Tar contamination levels averaged 223 g m-1 on windward beaches. Contamination levels for leeward west-coast beaches were generally two orders of magnitude less than windward beaches.