Summer Break, Debris-Free

Posted Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:00

Summer is in full swing and we should all find some time to enjoy it whether you’re off for the season, taking a well-deserved vacation, or simply taking full advantage of your weekends. Summer’s a great time to get outside and spend some time with friends and family, but let’s make sure we’re enjoying the great outdoors responsibly.

There are lots of ways to enjoy the summer season while still being kind to the earth. Remember to follow the “3Rs”—reduce, reuse, recycle—whenever possible and make responsible choices when you can. Enjoy the sun and warm weather and make sure you do it debris-free.

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Derelict fishing Gear in the Northeast

Posted Thu, 07/13/2017 - 11:00

While the Northeast region of the U.S. is home to several large population centers that create large amounts of consumer debris, there is also a marine debris issue lurking beneath the ocean surface. Derelict fishing gear is a prevalent problem in most of the Northeast states.

Lost or discarded fishing gear that is no longer under a fisherman’s control becomes known as derelict fishing gear (DFG), and it can continue to trap and kill fish, crustaceans, marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds. Factors that cause gear to become DFG include poor weather conditions, gear conflicts with other vessels or bottom topography, or the use of old, worn gear.

Addressing Marine Debris in the Northeast

Posted Tue, 07/11/2017 - 11:00

Meet Keith Cialino, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Northeast Regional Coordinator, based in Gloucester, Massachusetts! Reach out to Keith at keith.cialino@noaa.gov!

The Northeast United States is a place to enjoy all nature has to offer—snow in the winter, flowers in the spring, both sandy and rugged coastlines for summer, and beautiful foliage in the fall. Unfortunately, while enjoying the great outdoors, you might run into something else that plagues this region: marine debris. Thankfully, there are several efforts underway to address marine debris in this region. Check out some newly-established projects that are working to remove and prevent debris in the Northeast.

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Make Sure You’re Ready for the Storm!

Posted Thu, 07/06/2017 - 11:00

It’s summer and that means a few things: warm weather, vacations, and… hurricane season. Hurricanes are among nature's most powerful and destructive phenomena. According to our partners at NOAA’s National Weather Service, an above average Atlantic Hurricane season is predicted for 2017, and a near- or above-normal season is predicted in the Central Pacific. While you’re making sure that you’re well-prepared, think about the potential for your things to become marine debris. Storms bring high winds and rain, strong waves, and storm surges that can damage or destroy homes, boats, and property; put you and your family at risk; and have the potential to create a lot of marine debris.

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4 Ways to Declare Independence from Debris

Posted Fri, 06/30/2017 - 11:00

The Fourth of July is coming up next week and if you’re lucky, you’ll be celebrating for the long weekend. As you enjoy the holiday and the summer weather, make sure that you’re thinking not only of our country, but also of our environment and what you can do to keep your celebration debris-free. Take some of these tips into consideration when planning your festivities and have a fun, safe, and clean Fourth of July weekend!

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Quantifying Microplastics on National Park Beaches

Posted Thu, 06/29/2017 - 11:00

By: Dr. Stefanie Whitmire, Guest Blogger and Research Scientist at the Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology & Forest Science, Clemson University

Microplastics are plastic pieces measuring less than five millimeters in size and in recent decades, there have been many studies that indicate a strong presence of this type of debris in marine and coastal environments. Microplastics can come from a variety of sources. Some microplastics are manufactured at that small size as microbeads, found in products like toothpaste and facial scrubs, or pellets, which are used to make larger plastic items. Microfibers, another type of microplastic debris, come from synthetic items such as rope or clothing (like fleece). Microplastics also come from the breakdown of larger plastic pieces, such as water bottles and fishing line. To investigate the number and distribution of microplastics on National Park beaches across the Unites States, researchers at Clemson University collaborated with the National Park Service to collect and analyze sand from 37 coastal National Parks.

Abandoned and Derelict Vessels in Florida and the Caribbean

Posted Thu, 06/22/2017 - 11:00

Abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs) are a marine debris problem in many places around the United States, and pose a particular problem in Florida and the Caribbean. In this region, which boasts both beautiful weather and waters, a high number of recreational and commercial boaters unfortunately equals a high number of ADVs. These large marine debris items range in size from small recreational vessels to large steel-hulled commercial ships, but the majority of the ADVs in the region are from recreational use. These vessels may be abandoned or become derelict at the end of their useful life, after damage from storms, or when boat owners cannot keep up with their maintenance due to time and economic constraints. Unfortunately, the removal of debris items like ADVs is extremely costly and logistically difficult, so many ADVs remain where they are and these vessels can lead to all sorts of problems.

Addressing Marine Debris in Florida and the Caribbean

Posted Tue, 06/20/2017 - 10:30

Meet Charles Grisafi, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Florida and Caribbean Regional Coordinator! Reach out to Charles at charles.grisafi@noaa.gov!

Florida and the Caribbean are full of palm trees, beautiful beaches, and clear waters. Unfortunately, like many coastal areas around the world, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s newest region is also plagued with marine debris. Luckily, there are several efforts currently underway to address this problem. Check out two newly-established projects in the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Florida & the Caribbean Region and visit our website for more.