A new study says the once pristine beaches of the Gulf of Mexico are now loaded with so much plastic that it could threaten the loggerhead turtle... which is already an endangered species.
FSU researcher Mariana Fuentes says they went looking for micro-plastics at some of the most important turtle nesting sites in North Florida.
"We sampled all the nesting grounds to see how exposed they are to microplastic and marine debris, " she said. "And we found that, yes, all the nesting grounds are exposed to some extent to microplastics."
Those tiny plastic particles make the sand warmer, and scientists say the warmer sand causes more turtle hatchlings to turn into females.
And if there aren't enough males, Fuentes says the species will have even more trouble surviving.