Cleanup, Recycling, and Recovery on the Alaska Peninsula

A crew of people holding filled garbage bags standing at the shoreline and watching an incoming small boat.

The Ocean Plastics 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.

Type of Project: Removal

Region: Alaska

Project Dates: October 2020 - September 2022

Who is involved?
The Ocean Plastics Recovery Project, with the support of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, will remove debris from Katmai National Park shorelines. After the debris is removed, the project will work in partnership with Western Washington University to analyze the most feasible and optimal disposal methods for different types of debris recovered in order to improve the efficiency and sustainability of debris disposal.

What is the project and why is it important?
The Ocean Plastics Recovery Project (OPR) will conduct cleanups on the Alaska peninsula within the Katmai National Park - a remote park that is known for its scenic beauty but also a place that receives a significant amount of marine debris each year. OPR teams will sail from Kodiak aboard a large tender vessel and then deploy on small boats to target shorelines, gathering and removing debris back to the tender vessel. This debris will then be sorted and containerized for shipping. 

The debris will be sent to Oregon for evaluation and categorization by Western Washington University for further research and to compare different recycling and recovery processes, often a challenging and expensive component of debris removal in Alaska. Findings from this research will be published at the end of the project. Through these removal efforts OPR hopes to allow for more efficient and sustainable disposal of future marine debris, reducing both the cost of removal as well as the amount of debris that goes into landfills.

For more information about this project, visit the Marine Debris Program Clearinghouse.