Coastal marine species are adapting to life in plastic. Human plastics that have made their way into the open ocean are providing artificial habitats for otherwise coastal bound species.
Researchers used to believe that natural disasters like tsunamis which push hundreds of species into open ocean were a death sentence for coastal species. Yet buoyant plastic garbage has helped marine life weather the storm.
Researchers are now calling these colonies “neopelagic communities” – seafaring colonies of anemones, brittle stars, shrimp, barnacles and more, which are thriving on plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and washing up wherever the currents take them.