From Ridge to Reef: Protecting Guam’s Marine Life Through Student Efforts

Posted Wed, 09/21/2022 - 11:00

With its crystal clear waters and rich coral reefs, Guam is undoubtedly a hidden paradise in the Pacific ocean. It is home to five protected marine preserves teeming with aquatic animals and plants. Everything on the island is connected, from the mountain ridges to the lively reefs, meaning that even the tiniest actions can offset the entire ecosystem. The Ocean Guardian School project at Simon A. Sanchez High School worked together with five other schools across the island to minimize impacts on the ecosystem and reduce potential sources of marine debris.

Public Comment Open on a Draft Federal Report on Microfiber Pollution

Posted Thu, 09/15/2022 - 11:00

On behalf of the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program and EPA’s Trash Free Waters Program are pleased to share a draft Report on Microfiber Pollution, which is now available for public comment. Required by law, this report will provide Congress with an overview of the microfiber pollution issue, while also outlining a path forward for federal agencies, in partnership with other stakeholders, to address this problem. We invite comments, feedback, and recommendations on the draft Report on Microfiber Pollution, including Section 7, which contains a plan that outlines opportunities to reduce microfiber pollution.

Remove, Recycle, Restore: Salish Synergy in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

Posted Wed, 08/31/2022 - 11:00

In recent years, increasing amounts of marine debris littering the shores of Washington’s wilderness beaches have caused concern in the conservation community. Salish Synergy: Cross-Border Debris Removal and Recycling, an ambitious new project led by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Program, aims to remove 35,000 pounds of marine debris from Washington’s outer coast annually.  

Expanding Nurdle Patrol from Texas to Mexico

Posted Thu, 08/25/2022 - 11:00

Small plastic pellets, or nurdles, are the raw material for almost everything made of plastic. Unfortunately, before they make it to plastic production, they can be released into the environment where they pollute habitats and harm wildlife. With a grant from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, Nurdle Patrol, a citizen science project run by the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas, is expanding efforts throughout Mexico.

Eliminating Threats of Derelict Crab Pots in Washington’s Salish Sea

Posted Wed, 08/10/2022 - 11:00

The wonders of Washington’s Salish Sea are easy to find. A day exploring here can include roaming a shoreline digging for clams while one of the region's many snowcapped mountains loom in the background, catching salmon, pulling up pots full of Dungeness crab, or traversing the majestic San Juan Archipelago. Yet, underneath the waters of the Salish Sea lies a hidden threat to the ecosystem; lost and abandoned fishing nets and crab pots on the seafloor that degrade marine habitat and entangle and capture marine life with no one there to harvest them. Living in this area comes with the responsibility to protect its beauty and the resources it provides.

Protecting Pacific Northwest Shorelines: A Committed Community

Posted Wed, 08/03/2022 - 11:00

Oregon and Washington contain some of the most remote and ecologically diverse coasts in the continental United States. These waters teem with fish and marine mammals, and support tourism and vital subsistence, commercial, and recreational fisheries. Marine debris can be harmful to these waters and all that rely on it. These threats could be derelict fishing gear that entangles and catches marine life, or it could also be large debris such as derelict vessels that have sunk or been improperly disposed of. The NOAA Marine Debris Program partners with community members and organizations in the Pacific Northwest who are committed to preventing and removing these and other types of marine debris.

Taking on Debris Big and Small in the Gulf of Mexico

Posted Wed, 07/13/2022 - 11:00

The Gulf of Mexico is a vast and productive body of water spanning 600,000 square miles with tremendous ecological, economic, and social value. The vast Gulf provides essential habitat for an amazing diversity of fish, whales, dolphins, and species of migratory, wading, and sea birds. Unfortunately, marine debris impacts habitats, wildlife, and industries throughout the Gulf of Mexico. In order to address the issue of marine debris, from large hurricane debris to tiny microplastics, the region needs a comprehensive approach that brings together many partners.

Now Open: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Grant Opportunity for Marine Debris Removal

Posted Wed, 06/29/2022 - 09:50

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program is pleased to announce our Fiscal Year 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Removal notice of funding opportunity. Funding for this opportunity is provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The NOAA Marine Debris Program will award up to $56 million to fund projects that remove marine debris to benefit marine and Great Lakes habitats and communities. This competition focuses on two priorities: removing large marine debris and using proven interception technologies to capture marine debris throughout the coastal United States, Great Lakes, territories, and Freely Associated States.