Marine Debris in

Florida & the Caribbean

ADV grounding on hardbottom resources in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
This region includes Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Florida and the Caribbean are surrounded by clear, blue water full of diverse coral reefs, fish, and other marine life. The region is no stranger to tourism, fishing, and natural hazards, such as hurricanes, and each of these events can generate marine debris. Plastic containers, derelict vessels, and abandoned fishing gear can be found on the ocean floor, in the water column, and on beaches, negatively impacting wildlife and humans alike.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s works with partners in the region on marine debris projects, including assessing regional needs, removal efforts, developing and implementing prevention strategies and action plans, and education and outreach.

Image Gallery

Why anglers should care about ghost fishing and abandoned and derelict crab traps. Produced by Ocean Aid 360 and Roundhouse Creative Studio supported by a NOAA MDP community-based removal grant.



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.

Hurricanes and severe storms bring high winds, rain, strong waves, and storm surges that can damage or destroy your home, boat, or other property, can put your family or business at risk, and have the potential to create a large amount of marine debris. This document runs through some basic steps to prepare for storms and prevent your property from becoming marine debris.