Marine Debris in the

Southeast

A volunteer pulls a derelict crab pot from the water in North Carolina.

The Southeast region spans North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. This region is a maze of over 8,500 miles of tidal shoreline and includes sandy beaches and dunes, barrier islands, salt marshes, and maritime forests. With over 20 million people living in this region and an influx of millions of tourists each year, it is easy to understand the impact we have on the environment. In addition, the severe Southeastern summer weather including high winds, storm surges, and heavy rains drags household products, lawn furniture, even entire homes into the surrounding waters, compounding marine debris problems. Unfortunately, marine debris not only spoils the beauty of Southeast coastlines, it also creates health and safety hazards, threatens the boating and fishing community, degrades wildlife habitat, and impacts the economy. The NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), in partnership with local agencies, non-governmental organizations, and coastal and fishing communities, aims to prevent and reduce marine debris in the Southeast through education, research, and removal projects, as well as response to severe storms.

Mylar balloon debris.

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N.C. Coastal Federation and Fishermen: Crab Pot Project

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The NOAA Marine Debris Program offers several nationwide, competitive funding opportunities for marine debris projects. These include: marine debris removal grants; prevention through education and outreach grants; and research grants. Learn more about these opportunities.