Collecting marine debris in Sargassum (Photo Credit: USM).

Marine Debris in the Gulf of Mexico

This region includes Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas

The Gulf of Mexico has a productive, diverse, and beautiful coastline. Unfortunately, it is not immune to the impacts of marine debris. Marine debris in the Gulf of Mexico ranges from large concentrations of litter (i.e. cigarette butts and plastic bottles) that find their way through the storm drains to the beaches to large 190-foot derelict vessels that disturb marshes and seagrass habitats. The NOAA Marine Debris Program aims to prevent and reduce marine debris in the Gulf of Mexico through education, research, removal, and response to large debris events. We can accomplish our goals through productive and meaningful partnerships with state, local, federal and non-governmental organizations.

Regional Coordinator

Jessi James-Barry

A backhoe lifts pieces of a derelict barge out of the water.

Regional Collaboration

Regional Action Planning

  • NOAA’s Marine Debris Program is happy to be working with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) to develop and implement a Regional Action Plan to address Marine Debris (pg. 38) in the Gulf of Mexico. 
  • Through public-private partnerships, GOMA has established Gulf Star, which provides competitive funding each year to support projects to accomplish the goals laid out in the action plan.
  • If you are interested in learning more about the Marine Debris Cross Team Initiative or becoming involved with GOMA, you can find more information here.

Emergency Response Guides

Storm debris beach sign.

Regional Topics

  • To mitigate impacts from disasters, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has developed Marine Debris Emergency Response Guides to improve preparedness for response and recovery operations following an acute marine debris incident, like a hurricane, for each coastal state in the Gulf of Mexico.

Past Regional Partners

Abandoned and Derelict Vessels

Information for states and territories in the Gulf of Mexico region:
Last updated Wed, 03/20/2024 - 04:24 pm EDT