Marine Debris Blog
Thank you to all the volunteers that showed up and cleaned up at this year’s International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) on Saturday! This year’s event was another success due to the many volunteers that helped collect (literally) tons of trash! This yearly event not only removes damaging marine debris from communities around the globe, but also raises awareness of the important issue of marine debris. The data collected at each event is also used to discover what trash items are most problematic and most likely to become marine debris. Check out some of the photos from this year’s ICC events around the country.
It’s almost here! The annual International Coastal Cleanup is this Saturday, September 16th.
If you’re looking for something to do this weekend and you’d like to do your part to help address the marine debris problem, join thousands of volunteers from around the world to clean up your local area. Each year, the International Coastal Cleanup brings people together from around the globe to clean up marine debris in their local communities. Join us this year—find a location near you and sign up to clean up!
Even though marine debris is an entirely human-caused problem, debris can often be found in large quantities in remote areas that are far from human populations. This can include areas such as Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and even the bottom of the ocean floor! Our National Marine Sanctuary System protects the United States’ most iconic natural and cultural marine resources such as these, and unfortunately they too are under threat.
Keep an eye on the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Facebook and Twitter accounts this week, as well as the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr —there will be lots of posts throughout the week to help you learn more about marine debris, its impacts, and solutions in the National Marine Sanctuary System.
It’s almost that time of year—time for the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC)! This annual event, put on by the Ocean Conservancy and supported by the NOAA Marine Debris Program, works to bring people together from across the globe to clean up marine debris in their local communities. Last year’s cleanup resulted in more than 18 million pounds of trash collected by over 504,000 volunteers covering almost 15,000 miles! Find a cleanup near you and sign up to clean up today! The 2017 International Coastal Cleanup is Saturday, September 16th—we’ll see you there!
With over 600 participants expected to attend, the Sixth International Marine Debris Conference (6IMDC) provides a unique opportunity to promote science, collaboration, innovation, and action in the marine debris community. Participants will be surrounded by fellow marine debris advocates, educators, researchers, and pioneers during the five-day event taking place in San Diego, California, USA on March 12 -16, 2018. Check out the new and exciting 6IMDC opportunities!
After an intensive evaluation process, the NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce the four recipients of our 2017 research awards, totaling $935,156 of funding toward marine debris research efforts. Marine debris is a relatively new field of research, and there are many opportunities to advance understanding of how debris impacts the environment. The NOAA Marine Debris Program held a nationwide competitive funding opportunity to support original, hypothesis-driven research projects focused on the persistence and chemical impacts of marine debris. Check out this year's funded projects.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce our “Marine Debris Removal” federal funding opportunity. This opportunity provides funding to support projects that will create long-term, quantifiable ecological habitat improvements for NOAA trust resources through on-the-ground marine debris removal activities, with priority for those targeting derelict fishing gear and other medium- and large-scale debris. Priority will be given to projects that also foster awareness of the effects of marine debris to further the conservation of living marine resource habitats, and contribute to the understanding of marine debris composition, distribution, and impacts. Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce our “Marine Debris Prevention” federal funding opportunity. This opportunity provides funding to support eligible organizations for activities to prevent the introduction of marine debris into the marine and coastal environment. Applicants requesting funding for projects to address a specific marine debris issue, and that will actively engage these groups in hands-on personal participation, are welcome to apply. Projects focused on efforts to prevent marine debris from entering the environment through targeted behavior change will be given priority.
We are proud to announce the release of the Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit for Educators, created through a collaborative effort between the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) and the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. This Toolkit translates the MDP’s Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project, a robust citizen science initiative, for classroom use.
The Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit for Educators is available for free download on the NOAA Marine Debris Program website.
Interested in staying up to date on marine debris resources to incorporate into your classroom? Sign up for the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s new Educator Newsletter on our homepage.
It’s that time of year again—students and teachers are headed back to school. Whether you’ve been back in class for a few weeks or are just gearing up for the start of school, you’re likely feeling those end-of-summer blues. Thankfully, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has lots of resources for classroom use that can help make school days interactive and fun while encouraging students to be part of the solution to marine debris!
After an intensive evaluation process, the NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce the 11 recipients of our 2017 removal awards, totaling $1,238,358 of funding toward marine debris removal efforts. Although prevention is essential in stopping marine debris at its source, removing marine debris is unfortunately necessary to address all the debris that is already out there. The NOAA Marine Debris Program offers an annual nationwide competitive funding opportunity to support projects that focus on community-based marine debris removal. Check out this year's funded projects.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce that our 2018 Marine Debris Calendar is available for download!
This year’s calendar features artwork from the 2017 “Keep the Sea Free of Debris” art contest winners. Our annual art contest aims to get kids thinking about how they can keep debris out of the ocean and the calendar serves as a daily reminder that we can all do our part to help! Keep your eye on our website for information on this year’s contest, which starts October 16th.
By: Sarah Latshaw, Southeast Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program
While we may not have flying monkeys and green-faced witches to contend with here in the Southeast, we do face possible hazards like hurricanes, tornados, and severe thunderstorms. With these threats, there also comes the potential for a different kind of trouble--large amounts of storm-generated marine debris. In fact, almost a year after hurricane Matthew, many states are still dealing with the remnant debris stirred up by those storms, much of it in the form of abandoned and derelict vessels.
Meet Sarah Latshaw, the Southeast Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program, based in beautiful Charleston, SC. Reach out to Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The Southeast United States is a great place to enjoy some unique outdoor areas. The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Southeast region spans the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to which many people travel to experience the beautiful sand beaches and marshlands. Unfortunately, this area is also visited by marine debris. Thankfully, there are several efforts underway to keep our Southeast region clean and address the marine debris that plagues this area. Check out some of the projects that are working to remove and prevent debris in the Southeast.
Marine debris is one of the most widespread pollution problems facing our ocean and waterways today. This issue of solid, man-made materials in the ocean or Great Lakes is a global one that leaves no part of the world untouched by debris and its impacts. These negative effects impact people on a daily basis, from economic losses to potential health hazards, but can impact marine animals most severely. Animals are impacted by marine debris in a variety of ways, check them out here and what we can do to help.
Believe it or not, but it’s already August and summer seems to be flying by! Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to enjoy the warm weather by spending some time outdoors with your family and friends. Perhaps you’re planning on spending these last dog days partaking in one of summer’s most popular activities—fishing.
Fishing is a fun activity to enjoy with family, friends, or for some peaceful time alone. Unfortunately, fishing gear and fishing-related items are commonly found as marine debris in our environment, but thankfully, there are ways to enjoy this tradition without contributing to marine debris.
If you live away from the coast and are far from the nearest beach, you’ve probably thought “marine debris sounds bad, but it doesn’t have anything to do with me— I don’t contribute to it.” Well think again! Even if you don’t live in close proximity to the ocean or Great Lakes, your actions can still have an impact on marine debris. How? To put it simply, it all comes down to one word: watersheds. So what exactly is a watershed?
Summer is in full swing and we should all find some time to enjoy it whether you’re off for the season, taking a well-deserved vacation, or simply taking full advantage of your weekends. Summer’s a great time to get outside and spend some time with friends and family, but let’s make sure we’re enjoying the great outdoors responsibly.
There are lots of ways to enjoy the summer season while still being kind to the earth. Remember to follow the “3Rs”—reduce, reuse, recycle—whenever possible and make responsible choices when you can. Enjoy the sun and warm weather and make sure you do it debris-free.
While the Northeast region of the U.S. is home to several large population centers that create large amounts of consumer debris, there is also a marine debris issue lurking beneath the ocean surface. Derelict fishing gear is a prevalent problem in most of the Northeast states.
Lost or discarded fishing gear that is no longer under a fisherman’s control becomes known as derelict fishing gear (DFG), and it can continue to trap and kill fish, crustaceans, marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds. Factors that cause gear to become DFG include poor weather conditions, gear conflicts with other vessels or bottom topography, or the use of old, worn gear.
Meet Keith Cialino, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Northeast Regional Coordinator, based in Gloucester, Massachusetts! Reach out to Keith at email@example.com!
The Northeast United States is a place to enjoy all nature has to offer—snow in the winter, flowers in the spring, both sandy and rugged coastlines for summer, and beautiful foliage in the fall. Unfortunately, while enjoying the great outdoors, you might run into something else that plagues this region: marine debris. Thankfully, there are several efforts underway to address marine debris in this region. Check out some newly-established projects that are working to remove and prevent debris in the Northeast.