Marine Debris Education in the Northeast

Posted Tue, 09/06/2016 - 14:25

Marine debris is a pervasive problem throughout the United States. In the Northeast, it’s no different. Luckily, there are several projects underway to combat this problem. Focusing on prevention, the ultimate solution to marine debris, two of these more recent projects use education to stop debris in its tracks.

The From Shore to State House project, led by the University of Hartford and supported by the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), has developed a college-level course which introduces students to marine debris. Students learn about the subject, participate in cleanups, and then talk to their local legislators about marine debris policy. The best part? The course materials are open-source, so other college instructors can replicate the program.

Marine Debris Tracker: Fight Marine Debris with Your Phone!

Posted Thu, 08/11/2016 - 12:54

Interested in getting involved in the fight against marine debris but not sure how? Consider downloading the Marine Debris Tracker app and fight debris with your phone!

Marine debris is one of the most pervasive global threats to the health of our ocean. Monitoring where marine debris is found provides important information that can be used to track the progress of prevention efforts, add value to beach cleanups, and inform solutions. The Marine Debris Tracker provides a unique opportunity for you to get involved in collecting marine debris data in your community by allowing users to easily report debris sightings at any time. The Tracker is completely mobile and data can be entered anywhere, even without mobile service! As less of a time-commitment than the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP), the Tracker app is a great way to get involved without getting in over your head!

Tags

Surveypalooza: Marine Debris Monitoring on the West Coast

Posted Tue, 08/09/2016 - 11:30

By: Sherry Lippiatt, California Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

On July 15th, an intrepid group of shoreline survey enthusiasts departed Seattle for nearly a week on the road. The mission: to spend a full six days surveying West Coast beaches for marine debris. The goal of this “surveypalooza” was to compare shoreline survey methodologies developed by the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP; for the Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project, or “MDMAP”) and the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). All told, our team of eight (including staff from the MDP, CSIRO, and the Ocean Conservancy) completed 26 individual monitoring surveys at 16 shoreline sites located approximately every 100 km along the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.

Monitoring shorelines for marine debris can help answer some important questions, such as: how big is the marine debris problem, and how is it changing over time? Or, what types of debris are most common in a region? There are a lot of questions that drive monitoring efforts, but developing a standardized monitoring protocol is not so straightforward. 

Tags

Recycle Right!

Posted Tue, 07/26/2016 - 11:00

By: Emma Tonge, Intern with the NOAA Marine Debris Program

In the United States, the typical person creates an average 4.40 pounds of waste every day (according to the EPA’s Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2013 Fact Sheet). When thinking about this trash, we tend to think of it as worthless and without any use. However, a large part of our daily waste actually has value and can be given a second life through recycling. Recycling is not only a great way to reduce your impact, but also a great way to prevent marine debris. When you make the choice to recycle your used plastic, glass, metal, and paper, these materials are diverted from landfills and the environment, and turned into new and usable items.

Tags

Florida Incident Waterway Debris Response: A New Comprehensive Guide for the State

Posted Wed, 06/29/2016 - 10:01

The NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) is proud to announce the release of the new Incident Waterway Debris Response document for Florida. This guide takes existing roles and authorities, as they relate to response to an incident that generates large amounts of debris in coastal waterways, and presents them in one guidance document for easy reference. By collaborating with local, state, and federal entities active in the region, this guide aims to facilitate a more timely and effective response to waterway debris incidents in Florida.

Plastics in the Ocean: How They Get There, Their Impacts, and Our Solutions

Posted Mon, 06/27/2016 - 13:30

Marine debris is a pervasive problem facing our ocean and Great Lakes. Of all the trash that ends up in these important water bodies, plastics are the most common. This week, we’re exploring the problem of plastics in our ocean and the solutions that are making a difference. To learn more about #OceanPlastics, keep your eye on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and NOAA’s Response and Restoration blog this week.  

Globally, we are consuming more and more single-use plastic items, but many countries lack the waste infrastructure to process it, resulting in plastic debris entering our waterways. In places where there is good infrastructure, intentional littering or improper disposal may have the same results. Many people don’t think about the way they may be contributing to this waste, such as by throwing a cigarette butt (which is plastic!) on the ground  or adding their trash to the top of an overflowing garbage can. 

Tags
Marine Debris Removal in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands: A Look Back krista.e.stegemann Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:01

Over the years of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, there have been many efforts around the country to rid our waters and shores of marine debris. As part of our ten-year anniversary celebration, let’s take a look back at one of those efforts in our Pacific Islands region.

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) are beautiful. Home to many amazing animals and clear, turquoise blue water, they are located far from large human populations. However, despite their distance from people, they are still inundated with marine debris that washes up from faraway places. To combat this debris and preserve this paradise, multiple NOAA offices have collaborated on a yearly removal mission to clean debris from the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and the shores of the NWHI since 1996. The NOAA Marine Debris Program has been involved in this effort since the establishment of our program—that’s ten years of some pretty impressive NWHI removal! 

Cleaning up the A-8 in San Diego Bay: A Look Back

Posted Thu, 05/26/2016 - 11:43

By: Sherry Lippiatt, California Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

Over the years of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, there have been many efforts around the country to rid our waters and shores of marine debris. As part of our ten-year anniversary celebration, let’s take a look back at one of those efforts in our California region.

Back in 2008, the Port of San Diego, with funding through the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Community-based Marine Debris Removal grant program, initiated a three-phase project to remove marine debris from a former anchorage site and surrounding shorelines. By 2013, over 447 metric tons of debris had been removed!