Students learn about debris at the Monterey Bay Aquarium


Each fiscal year (October through September), the Marine Debris Program supports projects across the country that use outreach and education as a way to prevent marine debris. These projects aim to change behavior, especially among youth, and provide them with hands-on experiences that deepen their understanding of the marine debris problem.
(Photo Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium)

2016 Active Projects

2015 Active Projects

2014 Active Projects

Completed Prevention Projects - Archives

Click the bars below to view completed projects from that year.

2016 Projects

Kids picking up debris on a NYC beach.

Hudson River Community Sailing empowered NYC high school students in their Sail Academy afterschool program to become stewards of the Hudson Estuary through marine debris collection, prevention, and outreach.

2015 Projects

A pile of derelict crab traps. (Photo Credit: G. Bradt, NH Sea Grant)

The National Sea Grant Law Center at the University of Mississippi worked to assess the transferability of innovative methods for addressing derelict fishing gear and to identify opportunities to prevent gear loss due to vessel interactions.

Derelict nets in a pile.

The BoatU.S. Foundation prevented derelict fishing gear by educating recreational boaters about strategies to reduce vessel interactions with active fishing gear.

A side-scan sonar image on the left and a photo of derelict lobster pots on the right.

Through the Fishing for Energy program, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries used side-scan sonar to address challenges associated with identifying derelict lobster pots.

A pile of derelict lobster pots.

Through the Fishing for Energy program, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries worked to develop a series of videos to educate recreational pot fishers about practices that can help prevent gear loss.

A group of students on a beach.

The University of Hartford worked to develop an open source, replicable, college-level service learning course to improve knowledge, lead outreach, inform policy, and inspire change on the issue of marine debris.

Community volunteers cleaning up a beach.

The Mālama Learning Center tackled marine debris through community outreach in Leeward (West) Oahu.

A group of students with monitoring equipment on a beach.

EarthTeam educated and trained high school students to lead “Zero Litter Campaigns” in their schools and communities, aimed to prevent land-based litter from becoming marine debris.

An image of a meal in disposable packaging and then the same meal in reusable containers.

Clean Water Fund educated the take-out food industry and its customers about the marine debris prevention benefits and cost savings associated with reducing food and beverage packaging.

A citizen scientists collects water samples.

Florida Sea Grant created a network of citizen scientists across Florida to study microplastics and lead education and outreach events.

Students picking up debris from a beach.

Nature’s Academy engaged fifth grade students in Manatee County, Florida in a hands-on educational program that increased knowledge and fostered behavior change to prevent marine debris.

A graduate student with UTRGV's Coastal Studies Lab presents a marine debris display.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley started an innovative education and outreach program to prevent marine debris from entering the South Texas coastal zone and the Gulf of Mexico.

A photo of a "Rig It Right" kit and a kit being used to rig a crab pot.

Rutgers University and the NOAA Marine Debris Program partnered for the WeCrab project to educate and train recreational crabbers, teachers, students, and coastal users to prevent derelict fishing gear and other debris in New Jersey.

Community volunteers clean up a local shoreline. (Photo Credit: National Aquarium)

The National Aquarium partnered with the NOAA Marine Debris Program to create a network of community leaders to initiate and lead marine debris prevention efforts and clean up debris near Baltimore.

2014 Projects

A ghost net is pulled onto a boat in Lake Superior.

University of Wisconsin Sea Grant educated fishers about ghost nets in Lake Superior.

Washed Ashore art project made with marine debris. (Photo credit: Washed Ashore Project)

The Washed Ashore Project partnered with NOAA Marine Debris Program to bring new art and science curriculum to students and teachers.

Salem Sound Coastwatch Cleanup.

The Salem Sound Coastwatch partnered with the NOAA Marine Debris Program to focus on urban neighborhoods in Salem, Massachusetts to raise awareness and change local trash disposal behaviors.

Children learn about marine debris at the Santa Barbara museum.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is educating students on how they can prevent trash from reaching the ocean.

Trash on the Potomac River.

Alice Ferguson Foundation educated teenage litterers in the Potomac River watershed.

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

Feiro Marine Life Center educated students and residents from Washington’s Olympic Peninsula about marine debris impacts.

 HWF pilots new marine debris curriculum (Photo Credit: HWF).

Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund engaged the keiki (children) of Hawai‘i to learn about marine debris impacts and forge creative solutions.

Marine debris stranded on Ballenas Beach

Protectores de Cuencas launched Think Before You Drop It, a social marketing campaign to reduce litter on beaches in Puerto Rico.

Current Collections, A Community's Coastal Debris Sculpture.

University of South Florida engaged local youth and tourists by targeting shoreline and beach litter in Florida.

2013 Projects

Lobster trap-yard.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the NOAA Marine Debris Program partnered to use data to inform fishing choices.

Talking Trash and Taking Action.

Ocean Conservancy instilled an environmental ethic in youth and corporate employees in an effort to end marine debris.

New Bedford & YCC observe a penguin at Mystic Aquarium.

Mystic Aquarium and the NOAA Marine Debris Program worked with teens to educate and inspire their peers.

GA students marine debris survey and cleanup.

University of Georgia Marine Extension Service partnered with the NOAA Marine Debris Program to use student marine debris surveys to encourage environmental stewardship.

Kids are standing and hitting a ball in a crowd.

Monterey Bay Aquarium worked with California teachers to add marine debris lessons to their classrooms.

Two teachers sort through a bin of marine debris in a lab.

NOAA and Oregon State University are engaging students on marine debris using an integrated curriculum.

Colorful bits of plastic from Kehoe Beach in California.

Anchorage Museum is educating the public with a marine debris exhibit called GYRE: The Plastic Ocean.

Brown pelicans float in their exhibit pool.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. is home to Wendy and Tinkerbell, two brown pelicans found entangled in fishing line in Florida.