Some of the fastest growing populations in the United States are located in the Gulf Coast region. The population size in the Gulf states of Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas is approximately 56 million, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the total U.S. population.
Growth in coastal populations is expected to put additional pressure on coastal and marine environments, including wildlife and water quality. In addition, rising sea levels, land subsidence and episodic storm events will also challenge human communities along the Gulf Coast.
Our Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem: A Coastal and Marine Atlas helps us see these interconnected issues. Check out the map below to see coastal population densities in the Gulf:
It is important that we lessen the impacts of dense human populations when we can. One of the easiest actions we can take is to reduce the amount of trash we put into the ecosystem and take out what is already there.
Marine debris is a serious pollution problem that affects the health of people, wildlife and economies. Trash in the water and on the shore can kill marine animals, injure swimmers and beachgoers, and ensnare boat propellers.
Come help us clean up the Gulf! During our International Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 21, volunteers will be cleaning up beaches all around the world, including many spots along the Gulf of Mexico. Click on the map below to find a Cleanup near you. Can’t participate in a Cleanup? Take the pledge to reduce your impact and help turn the tide on ocean trash.