Coastal Trends (Gulf Coast)
As of 2003, more than 19 million people (13 percent of the U.S. coastal population) lived along the Gulf of Mexico coast from Florida to Texas, and the coastal population in this Region is expected to have grown by about seven percent by 2008. A growing coastal population can also mean growing impacts on the Gulf’s coastal ecosystems, and even if you don’t live right along the shore, your activities can affect water quality in the Region’s rivers and streams, which eventually reach the ocean.
Viewer Tip: One of the easiest ways to reduce your impact is to make sure only rain goes into storm drains, which lead directly to local surface waters. Instead of hosing off your sidewalks and driveway, which can carry oil, antifreeze, and other pollutants into the storm drain, use a broom to clean up. Not only will you help prevent water pollution, but you’ll also save water.
Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
(Sources: NOAA National Ocean Service. “Population Trends Along the Coastal United States: 1980-2008.” http://www.oceanservice.noaa.gov/programs/mb/supp_cstl_population.html; EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (Patty Scott). Watershed Tips, April 11, 2005)