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Even in desert climates like New Mexico, a large proportion of plastic litter ends up in surface waters, driven there by wind and storm runoff. In addition to spoiling recreational opportunities, much of it breaks-down into microplastic that is consumed by fish and weakens aquatic ecosystems. PFM rates surface waters in New Mexico for plastic pollution according to our unique and scalable map methodology. While New Mexico still has some clean waters , they are increasingly remote. Most urban areas are decades behind in mitigating this emerging pollutant, and plastic contamination has reached crisis levels in some of the State's iconic waters.
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