Plastic on Lake Erie shoreline.

Marine Debris in the Great Lakes

This region includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and the Great Lakes shorelines in Pennsylvania and New York.

Marine debris spoils the unique beauty of the Great Lakes region: a complex system of habitats, wetlands, rivers, and tributaries. Debris in the Great Lakes ranges from small items, including microplastics and other litter, to large abandoned and derelict vessels. No matter the size or type, debris harms the environment, wildlife and natural resources, creates health and safety hazards, and threatens the Great Lakes’ robust recreational fishing and boating economy. Since 2006, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has worked with partners in the region to prevent marine debris from entering the Great Lakes through education, outreach, and removal projects.

Regional Coordinator

Abandoned and Derelict Vessels

Information for states and territories in the Great Lakes region:
Last updated Wed, 04/17/2024 - 03:39 pm EDT