Tsunami debris began arriving on U.S. shores in the winter of 2011-2012 and has continued washing ashore in a scattered fashion ever since, mixing in with chronic marine debris. This pattern will likely continue. Beachgoers may notice an increase in debris on beaches, in addition to marine debris that normally washes up, depending on where ocean currents carry it.
California’s 1,100 miles of coastline feature an incredible diversity of habitats and marine life. A mix of major metropolitan areas and vast stretches of remote shoreline leads to a lot of variability in marine debris types and abundances washing ashore. At one extreme, the infamous Los Angeles River trash boom can capture an astounding amount of consumer debris after the first large storm – or “First Flush” – of the rainy season. On the other hand, an uninhabited beach on the North Coast sees a much lower abundance of debris over a large stretch of shoreline. Just offshore, lost or abandoned fishing gear threatens marine species and habitats. A variety of tactics are needed to solve the problem – but first and foremost is preventing debris at the source. Since 2006, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has worked with partners in the region to address marine debris through education, outreach, research, and removal projects.
- California marine debris stakeholders are making progress on Ocean Litter Strategy (OLS) actions.
- Check out the groundbreaking results of the San Francisco Bay Microplastics Project.
- California agencies are funding a statewide Trash Monitoring Methods Project.
- The California Trash Monitoring Workgroup provides a forum for information exchange on trash monitoring efforts.
- Learn more about NOAA's Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project.
- Check out this video on best practices to prevent lobster trap loss, created in partnership with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
- Abandoned and Derelict Vessel information for California.
Abandoned and Derelict Vessel information for states in the California region:
Funded Partners in the Region
The NOAA Marine Debris Program offers several nationwide, competitive funding opportunities for marine debris projects. These include: marine debris removal grants; prevention through education and outreach grants; and research grants. Learn more about these opportunities.