Discover the Issue
What is marine debris?
Our oceans are filled with items that do not belong there. Huge amounts of consumer plastics, metals, rubber, paper, textiles, derelict fishing gear, vessels, and other lost or discarded items enter the marine environment every day, making marine debris one of the most widespread pollution problems facing the world's ocean and waterways.
Marine debris is defined as any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes. It is a global problem, and it is an everyday problem. Although accumulations of debris, like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are most famous, there is no part of the world left untouched by debris and its impacts. Marine debris is a threat to our environment, navigation safety, the economy, and potentially human safety and health.
Most of all, marine debris is preventable. Learn more about marine debris and find out how.