NEW ORLEANS -- For Ramon Madrid and his dog Desoto, Pontchartrain Beach offers a sliver of sand close to home.
"He loves it here," Madrid said. "We come out here and throw out the ball. We don't let him mess with the trash."
Trash isn't hard to find there, nor in other places along the Louisiana coastline, according to a new report from Ocean Conservancy called "Tracking Trash: 25 Years of Action for the Ocean." The environmental group analyzed data from the past quarter of a century of their annual International Coastal Clean-up days.
"This year in particular over 150 toilet seats were found during the clean-up, as well as almost 200 cell phones of different sorts," said Nicholas Mallos, a marine debris specialist with Ocean Conservancy.
Along the Louisiana coast, the items found range from common to bizarre: 4,295 cigarettes, 2,832 food wrappers and 138 car parts.
"I've seen Styrofoam cups, broken beer bottles," said Nicole Hills, who was walking along Pontchartrain Beach. "It's not safe for little kids. I've seen little kids in the water and stuff. It's not safe at all."
UNO student Chris Hansen said the garbage isn't just visible along the shoreline.
"It's mostly on the beach, because when the storms come, they leave them on the beach, but it is out on the water, too," he said.
According to Ocean Conservancy, past storms may have contributed to some of the coastal garbage numbers in Louisiana. The state's marshy coastline also makes it a challenge to clean it up, when compared to coastlines that are more easily accessible.
Advocates believe the key is stopping trash from ending up there in the first place.
"The most important thing that these data show, besides the continued pervasiveness of trash, is really just making the connection between trash and the ocean," Mallos said.
There is some good news for Louisiana in the report. The state came in at number 10 for the highest number of volunteers who have helped clean up the coast in the past 25 years: more than 75,000 people in all. To see the report, click here