How Reducing Litter Can Help Save Coral Reefs

Posted Tue, 12/05/2017 - 11:00

Coral reefs are diverse and important marine ecosystems, supporting a wide array of wildlife. Not only do they provide essential structure for habitats, but corals themselves are a unique and beautiful type of animal. Unfortunately, corals don’t have it easy. These animals are very sensitive to changes in their environment and are under threat by a preventable problem: marine debris. Thankfully, this is a completely preventable problem and we can all help to reduce these impacts!

Charleston County Library System Turns the Page on Marine Debris

Posted Thu, 11/30/2017 - 11:00

By: Sarah Latshaw, Southeast Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

Plastic bags are pervasive in marine environments and are one of the most common items found during litter cleanup events. They are often blown or washed into waterways, and can be entanglement or ingestion hazards to wildlife, smother vegetation, and clog storm drains. In an effort to reduce their contribution to marine debris in coastal South Carolina, the Charleston County Public Library (CCPL), with support from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), and South Carolina Aquarium, has ended their use and distribution of single-use plastic bags at all 16 branch locations!

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Give Thanks and Give Back to Our Ocean

Posted Tue, 11/21/2017 - 11:00

It’s almost Thanksgiving and here the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), we’re thinking about what we’re most thankful for this year.

At the MDP, we’re thankful for the wonderful partners that we work with to help spread the message, clean up, and learn more about the issue of marine debris. We’re also thankful for all the people out there that are thinking about marine debris and how they can help. Each person that thinks “you know, maybe I’ll use a reusable bag at the grocery store today”—we’re thankful for you and your efforts to reduce extra waste that could find its way to the ocean!

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Marine Debris Work with Alaskan Native Communities

Posted Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:00

In celebration of National Native American Heritage Month, the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration’s Marine Debris Program and Assessment and Restoration Division are highlighting collaboration with native communities, nations, and peoples.

Native communities and their in-depth knowledge of local history and conditions are essential for addressing marine debris in Alaska. A large proportion of Alaska’s coast is remote, so addressing debris can be difficult. Native peoples often have specific knowledge and experience that are important for marine debris efforts in these areas and the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) is proud and grateful to have worked with Alaskan Native organizations on several marine debris projects.

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Marine Debris Work with West Coast Native Communities

Posted Mon, 11/13/2017 - 11:00

In celebration of National Native American Heritage Month, the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration’s Marine Debris Program and Assessment and Restoration Division are highlighting collaboration with native communities, nations, and peoples.

Many native communities in the Western United States are tied to the ocean, depending on its resources for economic well-being and cultural identity. The NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) is proud to have worked with native communities on the West Coast to protect these resources by preventing and removing marine debris.

Mississippi Coastal Cleanup

Posted Thu, 11/09/2017 - 11:00

By: Amanda Sartain, Extension Program Assistant at Mississippi State University

Since 1988, thousands of Mississippi Coastal Cleanup volunteers have contributed hours of hard work and dedication to the removal of marine debris, which includes any solid, man-made material that ends up in the marine environment either intentionally or unintentionally. Millions of pounds of marine debris have been removed from Mississippi beaches, waterways, and barrier islands over the years. Unsurprisingly, commonly-collected trash items have included cigarette butts, food wrappers, plastic bottles, and straws. During last year’s cleanup event, over 14 tons of trash were collected. Cigarette butts, food wrappers, and plastic beverage bottles were once again among the most common items found. 

The 29th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup will take place Saturday, November 18th, from 8 to 11am. Come get involved!

Innovative Marine Debris Removal Projects

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

By: Nir Barnea, Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

Marine debris is a big global problem that must be addressed on multiple fronts: outreach to stop littering and encourage better use of products, research to investigate and inform, and of course, removal of marine debris to alleviate its harmful impacts. When it comes to removal, the options range in complexity. The marine debris community is resourceful and creative, and over time has developed a number of innovative removal methods. Since what works for one, could work for the many who may have similar challenges and needs, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has assembled several method overview summaries to facilitate better sharing of innovative techniques for marine debris removal.

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Trash or Treat

Posted Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:00

BOO! It’s Halloween—the scariest day of the year—and nothing is more frightening on All Hallows’ Eve than… marine debris!

Halloween is both scary and fun, but unfortunately often results in an increase in trash that can become marine debris. But, thankfully there are ways to *actually* be a superhero (not just dress like one!) and take steps to prevent this from happening!

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