A hand wearing a glove with a NOAA logo on it places water bottle in a trash bag.

Our Work

Since 2006, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has led national and international efforts to research, prevent, and reduce the impacts of marine debris. Its staff, which is positioned across the country, supports marine debris projects in partnership with state and local agencies, tribes, non-governmental organizations, academia, and industry. The program also spearheads national research efforts and works to change behavior in the public through outreach and education initiatives.

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Students learn about debris at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (Photo Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium).
We form partnerships across the country with organizations to prevent marine debris through outreach and education initiatives.
A crew of nine on two small inflatable boats haul a mass of derelict nets out of the water.
Our program supports locally driven, community-based marine debris removal projects.
Colorful microplastics in a bottle.
We team up with academia and other partners to pursue research projects that answer questions about marine debris impacts and solutions.
Volunteers survey for marine debris on a beach.
Monitoring helps us understand the amount, types, and sources of marine debris that are most common, where it accumulates, and if it is changing over time.
Marine debris after Japanese tsunami.
Our program addresses marine debris generated by natural disasters, including hurricanes and tsunamis.

The first step to solving a problem is learning more about it. Check out our educational resources to help stewards of all ages learn more about the problem of marine debris.

People remove marine debris floating in Hong Kong with nets.

The MDP works at the global, regional, and binational level to better understand and address marine debris internationally.

A marine debris removal team member offloads a huge mass of derelict fishing net from a boat.

The Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee is a multi-agency body responsible for streamlining the federal government’s efforts to address marine debris.

Explore information on the Marine Debris Clearinghouse.

The Marine Debris Clearinghouse is an online database that houses information on projects, best practices, action plans, and state-of-knowledge papers.