Some scientists have started calling the ocean plastic soup. Beyond the horizon exists a floating gyre, called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by some; others name it the Pacific Trash Vortex. It's much larger than Texas and has cousins of similar size in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. They are composed mostly of plastic, which floats and flows with the currents, converging where they meet. Ultraviolet light and the ocean environment cause the substance to break down and infiltrate ocean creatures and habitats in ways we have yet to fully understand.
From a distance, it looks as if the beach is covered in litter -- like raucous partygoers retreated with the tide, leaving the cleanup for someone else. Intermingled with bits of brightly colored plastic, a closer inspection reveals that the curvy line extending for as far as I can see is a mass stranding of tiny little organisms called Velella velella.