Since 2006, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has supported efforts to remove marine debris from the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
Each fiscal year (October through September), the Marine Debris Program offers funding that supports locally driven, community-based marine debris removal projects. These projects benefit coastal habitat, waterways, and wildlife including migratory fish.
(Photo Credit: American Littoral Society)
Active Removal Projects
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is leading groups of trained and experienced volunteers and staff to remove marine debris from unique and rugged shorelines of the Forrester Island complex within the Alaska Maritime Wildlife Refuge.
Working with the local community, the City and Borough of Yakutat, Alaska, is removing marine debris from 50 miles of shoreline, and partnering with tribal, federal, and local organizations to conduct initial assessments followed by cleanup and outreach.
The Center for Coastal Studies will identify, remove, and properly dispose of derelict fishing gear from sensitive areas along shorelines, breakwaters, shellfish flats, and in Cape Cod Bay.
Through the Salish Synergy project, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and partners are detecting and removing medium- to large-scale marine debris, including derelict fishing gear, along Washington's outer coast and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The Northwest Straits Foundation, through a collaborative research partnership with Natural Resources Consultants, will conduct a two-year derelict crab pot removal and prevention project in the marine waters of Skagit County, Washington.
Scuba Dogs Society will remove marine debris from three coastal village communities that were impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria and develop a Marine Debris Community Action and Response Plan.
The Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative is coordinating with partners in California and in Mexico to better manage and prevent the loss of fishing gear and launch the North American Net Collection Initiative.
Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency, in partnership with Coastal Policy Solutions, is working to remove 30 abandoned and derelict vessels in Richardson Bay, protect eelgrass habitats, and prevent additional vessels from becoming derelict or abandoned in the San Francisco Bay.
The Superior Watershed Partnership is mobilizing its partners to implement on-the-ground clean-up events and educational outreach throughout communities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to reduce marine debris in the nearshore waters of Lake Superior’s coastal and tribal communities.
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund and its partners will remove derelict fishing gear and other large marine debris from remote coastlines on the islands of Kaua‘i, Maui, and Hawai‘i Island.
The Ocean Plastic Recovery Project and partners will remove and analyze debris from the Katmai National Park, as well as evaluate the best methods for recycling and sustainable disposal.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation will remove abandoned and derelict vessels, derelict fishing gear, and other marine debris from the Albemarle-Pamlico estuary and Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Mariana Islands Nature Alliance will assess, remove, and dispose of marine debris from Typhoon Yutu in areas of concern, such as the Tinian Harbor, and coastal areas, shallow waters, and reef lines that surround the islands of Tinian and Saipan.
The Oregon State Marine Board, through its Certified Clean Marina Program, is working to increase the number of abandoned and derelict vessels they can remove over the course of a year.
The University of Delaware is leading the removal of 1000 derelict crab pots from up to four heavily used recreational fishing areas in Delaware’s Indian River Bay.
To help address the problems associated with abandoned crab traps, the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program is organizing volunteers to systematically and comprehensively locate and remove traps in coastal waters from Matagorda Bay to Aransas Bay, Texas during the annual crab season closure.
A team of researchers from California State University Channel Islands will remove and track the amounts and types of shoreline debris at seven remote beaches on the Northern Channel Islands offshore of southern California.
The Ocean Foundation and Conservación ConCiencia are removing harmful derelict fishing gear from the waters around Puerto Rico while building capacity within the U.S. Virgin Islands to address marine debris in the region.
The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is collaborating with local dive operators to remove harmful marine debris from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, while engaging the local community to prevent future debris.
Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative® will remove derelict fishing gear from Maine state waters in partnership with local fishers.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation will remove over 40 abandoned and derelict vessels resulting from Hurricane Florence from the Central and Southeast regions of the North Carolina Coast.
University of Florida and Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will remove debris from vessels and structures generated by Hurricane Michael in St. Andrew, St. Joseph, and Apalachicola Bays.
The City of Mexico Beach is completing an assessment of debris remaining on the shoreline and nearshore waters from Hurricane Michael and developing a plan for removal and disposal.
Dog Island Conservation District will remove debris from Hurricane Michael and restore two miles of impacted coastal habitat on Dog Island, Florida.
Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper will lead volunteer marine debris removal efforts that consist of surface debris removal in the Niagara River/Lake Erie watershed, install Reel In and Recycle monofilament bins at popular fishing sites, and host multilingual pollution prevention workshops for the City of Buffalo’s refugee fishing community.
Island Trails Network will expand the range of an already funded cleanup operation targeting “entangling” debris. This project will build off of previous cleanup efforts in the Kodiak Archipelago to remove debris from a wide range of shoreline through three primary effort areas.
The Aleut Community of St. Paul Island will use aerial surveys to clean up marine debris along the shorelines. This project will build off of previous work in the Pribilof Islands by conducting cleanups on St. Paul Island, St. George Island, and Otter Island.
The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation will remove medium to large debris items at two critical sites in Jamaica Bay, Queens, New York: Seagirt Avenue Wetlands and Idlewild Park Preserve.
This project will remove hurricane-deposited marine debris from vulnerable mangrove shorelines, through a series of cleanups called “Great Mangrove Cleanups”, in marine protected areas and NOAA Coral Reef Program Priority Areas on St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation and project partners will remove over 70,000 pounds (about 35 tons) of marine debris left in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
The Pontchartrain Conservancy, partnering with other local agencies and volunteers, will remove thousands of derelict crab traps from the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. They will also provide data to analyze the economic impact of derelict crab traps on the Louisiana blue crab fishery.
The project will survey for and remove derelict fishing gear from Similk Bay, and collaborate with Tribal stakeholders to prevent future loss of fishing gear and other marine debris.
Stockton University is continuing fisher-led derelict crab pot removal from southern New Jersey coastal bays and bridging the generational gap through peer-to-peer mentoring of local crabbers.
The Town of Beaufort, NC, in partnership with the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve, is improving habitats through the removal of illegal and abandoned moorings, derelict vessels, derelict fishing gear, and other medium and large debris items.
This project will combine efforts to remove man-made debris from the Pearl River to restore hydrologic functions to the river, provide fish passage to the endangered Gulf Sturgeon and other anadromous species, and restore freshwater flow downstream.
The National Audubon Society is working on eight Maine islands to remove marine debris and study the accumulation of debris on the islands. In partnership with the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation, they will also aim to reduce the rate of accumulation through at-sea removal of derelict fishing gear.
Prince George’s County is working to design, install, and monitor the success of two trash traps along Maryland’s Anacostia River watershed, as well as conduct local outreach.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Delaware Coastal Program is working with local commercial crabbers to locate and remove derelict crab pots from two heavily-fished areas of the Delaware Bay.
Completed Removal Projects - Archives
Click the bars below to view completed projects from that year.
Hawai‘i Marine Animal Response carried out a project to reduce the negative impacts of marine debris on protected marine species and coastal habitats of O‘ahu through the detection and removal of derelict recreational fishing gear.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is planning to remove an estimated 2,000 lbs of marine debris from artificial reefs within the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves.
The Guam Environmental Protection Agency alongside many partners, will work to remove an artificial reef that consists of 2,482 tires located in Cocos Lagoon, Guam.
Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency removed approximately 364 metric tons of abandoned and derelict vessels from Richardson Bay, located within the San Francisco Bay area.
Island Trails Network is working to reduce the entanglement and mortality of whales, Steller sea lions, and other marine mammals and increase awareness of the impact of entangling debris.
The Ocean Foundation is collaborating with fishing groups, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, and local non-governmental organizations to address undocumented and derelict fishing traps in Puerto Rico.
Pacific Coastal Research & Planning coordinated the removal of a derelict fishing vessel from the lagoonal reef on the island of Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association expanded on previous efforts to address trash and marine debris in the Tijuana River Valley by improving trash capture and removal, and implementing novel outreach and prevention programs in Mexico.
The Weeks Bay Foundation and Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve worked to remove several abandoned boats and large marine debris from Weeks Bay and its tributaries.
Over a course of three years, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, in partnership with Surfrider Foundation’s Kaua‘i Chapter (SFK) and Pūlama Lānaʻi, will remove derelict fishing gear and medium- to large-scale marine debris items from along impacted coastlines of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui, and Lānaʻi.
Ocean Aid 360 and Coastal Conservation Association Florida conducted awareness campaigns and marine debris removal competitions in Florida’s Tampa Bay estuary.
The Northwest Straits Foundation and its partners are conducting a three-year derelict crab pot survey and removal project supplemented with a targeted outreach campaign to recreational crabbers in the Washington marine waters of the Salish Sea.
This project removes derelict crab pots and lines from Tribal fishing grounds, develops a Tribal fisheries derelict crab pot reporting and recovery program, and conducts outreach to Tribal fishers and the community.
This project is removing at least 30,000 pounds of marine debris from the Maumee River and other tributaries in the greater Toledo area. Partners for Clean Streams is working with partners to detect, assess, and coordinate removal of marine debris to prevent impacts to important fishery habitats.
The Center for Coastal Studies, located in Provincetown, Massachusetts, mobilized volunteers to identify, document, and properly dispose of derelict fishing gear from Cape Cod Bay and the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Save Our Shores removed large debris items from difficult-to-access areas of three major watersheds that feed into Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation removed derelict aquaculture fishing gear from areas adjacent to Harkers Island, NC, and worked with stakeholders to develop best management practices for disposal and prevention of aquaculture marine debris.
The Mobile Baykeeper helped Mobile, AL, “Move Toward a Litter-Free Mardi Gras” by organizing cleanups, implementing a media campaign, and purchasing temporary litter barriers for storm drains.
Island Trails Network lead volunteers to remove marine debris on shorelines accessible from the road system in and around Kodiak, Alaska.
The Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program worked to survey and remove derelict lobster traps in Central Long Island Sound.
The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey continued their work to find and remove derelict crab pots in New Jersey’s southern coastal bays.
Cleveland Metroparks removed construction material from Euclid Beach Park, conducted small-scale marine debris removal, and installing an educational display on the detrimental effects of marine debris in Lake Erie.
The Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority worked to remove marine debris as part of a significant urban living shoreline project, the first in urban tidal freshwaters in New Jersey.
The Makah Indian Tribe worked to remove three sunken vessels from the Makah Marina in the Makah Tribe Indian Reservation, and conducted outreach to prevent future abandon and derelict vessels.
The Sitka Sound Science Center worked with three remote communities who worked to clean up marine debris on local shorelines in the Bering Sea region of Alaska.
The Douglas Indian Association worked to survey and remove derelict Dungeness crab pots in a known crab harvest area of Gastineau Channel near Juneau, Alaska.
The North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve worked with Duke University which used unmanned aerial systems to map and identify marine debris within the Rachel Carson Reserve, and used this data to locate and remove debris and monitor restoration of debris-damaged areas.
The Center for Coastal Studies used side scan sonar surveys to assess derelict fishing gear abundance and collaborating with commercial fishermen to remove derelict gear in Cape Cod Bay and other areas of Massachusetts Bay.
The Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources worked to assess and remove five derelict vessels and used information from additional removal events to develop prevention strategies for the area.
The Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association worked to capture, remove, and prevent future accumulations of marine debris within the Tijuana River Valley at the border of the United States and Mexico.
California State University Channel Islands removed and monitored debris on island and mainland shorelines. They also developed formal and informal marine debris curriculum and community outreach projects.
The University of Wisconsin Sea Grant worked to implement an effective, on-the-ground derelict fishing gear removal program that improved the safety and quality of the Great Lakes.
The New Jersey Audubon, Northstar Marine, and Stockton University worked to locate and remove over 2,000 derelict crab pots from three critical areas of coastal New Jersey and the Delaware Bay.
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund worked with neighbor island partners to conduct community-based marine debris cleanup events and patrols along remote stretches of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui, and Lānaʻi coastlines.
The Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) removed marine debris from navigable waters and habitat areas of Galveston Bay, its sub-bays, and tributaries.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources monitored and removed derelict crab traps in Southern Alabama.
The Oregon State Marine Board removed the F/V Western, a sunken vessel in Coos Bay, Oregon, performed an underwater monitoring at the removal area. The monitoring created an inventory of commercial abandoned and derelict vessels (ADV) in Oregon, and initiating an ADV Task Force.
The BoatU.S. Foundation removed a derelict vessel and three large commercial nets from Lake Erie and Ocean City, Maryland.
The Island Trails Network used kayaks to remove marine debris from 60 miles of shoreline on Shuyak Island in the western Gulf of Alaska.
The Nature Conservancy and the Quileute Indian Tribe worked to remove derelict crab pots from tribal waters off the Washington Coast and developed a sustainable reporting and annual recovery program for lost pots.
The Mariana Islands Nature Alliance reduced littering and illegal dumping in Saipan by providing infrastructure for proper waste management and raising awareness about littering and marine debris through education and outreach.
UC Davis expanded a fishermen-led Dungeness crab derelict gear recovery program, with the intention of making it a self-sustaining effort.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation expanded a fishermen-led crab pot recovery pilot project into a self-sustaining derelict crab pot retrieval program.
The Coastal Cleanup Corporation and the Biscayne National Park worked to remove marine debris from sea turtle foraging habitat and nesting beaches and educating the public about marine debris.
The City of Bayou La Batre worked to remove 21 abandoned and derelict vessels and other marine debris from the waters of Bayou La Batre, as well as to restore marsh habitat and lead community outreach.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries implemented a derelict crab trap removal program, which included large-scale removal, education and outreach, and volunteer events in the Barataria, Terrebonne, and Pontchartrain basins near New Orleans.
Stockton University and the NOAA Marine Debris Program removed derelict crab pots from coastal bays in Southern New Jersey and educated and trained crabbers on how to prevent and locate lost traps.
The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, with the NOAA Marine Debris Program, identified, removed, and assessed the impacts of derelict crab pots in Barnegat Bay, NJ.
Scuba Dogs Society removed marine debris from a Puerto Rican shoreline and implemented an education and recycling station program to reduce marine debris at its source and promote stewardship of local marine habitats.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program teamed up with Clean Bays to remove industrial debris from 18 miles of shoreline and nearshore environments in East Providence, Rhode Island.
The Nature Conservancy and the Quinault Indian Nation removed derelict crab pots and developed a sustainable reporting and annual recovery program for lost crab pots on the Washington Coast.
The Regents of UC Davis, Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association and the NOAA Marine Debris Program teamed up to establish a fishermen-led commercial fishing gear recovery and recycling effort in California.
The Tijuana River NERR worked to remove debris and prevent further debris from washing down the Tijuana River Watershed from Mexico.
South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium removed derelict vessels and other marine debris using community-based initiatives.
CCE removed derelict lobster traps from Long Island Sound.
Coral Bay Community Council removed derelict vessels, involved locals in marine debris cleanups, and worked with local waste management and recycling groups to reduce marine debris.
LagoonKeepers.org worked to improve the quality of Palm Beach County’s estuarine, coastal, and near-shore marine ecosystems through derelict and sunken boat removal.
Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and the NOAA Marine Debris Program worked together to inspire coastal stewardship through coastal cleanups.
The American Littoral Society piloted a marine debris removal project in New York's Jamaica Bay
The Sitka Sound Science Center worked to remove approximately 106 tons of marine debris from important areas around local communities across the Bering Sea.
The Northwest Straits Foundation combated derelict fishing gear in the Puget Sound by removing derelict nets and conducting outreach with local tribes and fishermen about the impacts of derelict gear.
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund volunteers patroled the Ka‘ū coast on the Big Island of Hawai‘i for marine debris.
KIRC removed marine debris accumulations on Kaho'olawe Island in Hawai'i.
Hofstra University removed marine debris from one of New York's last natural salt marshes.
North Carolina Coastal Federation removed derelict crab pots and re-purposing them into oyster reefs.
NOAA supported the Coastal Cleanup Corporation in its effort to remove marine debris from sea turtle nesting habitat.
NOAA supported Dauphin Island Sea Lab's efforts to remove abandoned and derelict vessels in Dog River, Alabama.
NOAA supported the indigenous Wiyot Tribe in its effort to remove marine debris from an ancient cultural site.
NOAA supported the Sitka Sound Science Center in efforts to remove tsunami debris from Southeast Alaska and educate Sitka's youth about the impact of marine debris.
Island Trails Network in Alaska worked to remove marine debris from Tugidak Island, a critical habitat area in the Kodiak Archipelago.
This debris removal project focused on an area around Detroit's Belle Isle that was filled with old building material from the city.
Surfrider Foundation’s Rincón chapter worked to protect Puerto Rico's coral reefs by removing heavy marine debris.
NOAA supported San Diego Unified Port District in efforts to remove marine debris from San Diego Bay.
The Northwest Straits Initiative has worked in partnership with the NOAA Marine Debris Program to eliminate harmful derelict fishing gear in Puget Sound.
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