Corpus Christi (KIII News) — Coastal Bend beaches are ranked number one in trash accumulation, according to recent research done by the Mission Aransas Reserve.

That information and other related studies were revealed at this year's Texas Plastic Pollution Symposium.

In the past five years, local researchers said they have seen an increase in plastics polluting bodies of water. That is what encouraged this year's conference. 24 presenters ranging from marine biologists to lawyers were able to share knowledge about how plastics affect our environment.

One of the presenters was Jeremy Conkle, a professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He and a team have been researching microplastics and their impact on humans and animals. Conkle said the symposium allowed him to compare his findings with other researchers around the state.

"We can form collaborations and get to know people that are like minded, and hopefully build stronger research and find ways to work toward a solution and make things better," Conkle said.

Conkle said his research on microplastics is almost concluded.

Some of the partners who helped host the conference were the Surfrider Foundation, Texas Sea Grant and Mission Aransas Reserve.

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