Reducing Marine Debris Across the Gulf of Mexico and Mexican Caribbean

A person on a beach carrying a bag full of debris and a small mass of derelict fishing nets.

The Parley Foundation is working with coastal communities in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mexican Caribbean to collect and recycle fishing gear, remove debris from marine protected areas, and promote education.

Type of Project: North America Marine Debris Prevention and Removal

Region: Gulf of Mexico

Project Dates: September 2021 - August 2023

Who is involved?
With support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, the Parley Foundation is leading an initiative to protect the Gulf of Mexico and the Mexican Caribbean from the impacts of marine debris. Parley will work with national and local governments in Mexico, as well as with local organizations and marine protected area sites.

What is the project and why is it important?
In the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, plastic marine debris from fishing and inland communities in Mexico is a major source of coastal and ocean pollution. This debris not only impacts the environment, wildlife, and economy of Mexico, but the ocean and resources in the United States as well.

The Parley Foundation is addressing these marine debris issues in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mexican Caribbean by implementing their AIR Strategy to Avoid, Intercept, and Redesign. The project will focus on creating comprehensive solutions to prevent derelict fishing gear from entering the Gulf of Mexico and to remove existing marine debris from critical habitats in Mexico. The project will implement a new fishing gear collection system in sixteen fishing communities and provide a new solution for recycling nylon fishing nets to prevent them from becoming marine debris. To address existing marine debris, the project will organize cleanups in seventeen marine protected areas that promote collaboration with local partners and volunteers and prioritize sea turtle nesting areas and sensitive mangroves. Another important component of the project is to engage with underserved fishing communities, build awareness of marine debris impacts, provide public information on reducing the use of plastic in households, and promote better waste management practices across Mexico. 

The overall goal of the initiative is to remove as much as 500,000 pounds of fishing gear and marine debris from the environment in Mexico, upcycle 150,000 pounds of nylon nets, engage approximately 1,300 fishers, and educate over 20,000 people directly throughout Mexico.

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