Litter & Lakes: Tackling Marine Debris in the Great Lakes

Posted Fri, 06/07/2019 - 18:27

Although they don’t have salt water, the Great Lakes are vast, and can feel like small oceans. This connected series of lakes, Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, are the largest surface freshwater system on earth and account for 21 percent of the world’s supply. They shape the north coast of the United States, bordering eight states and the Canadian province of Ontario, for a total of 10,200 miles of coastline. That surpasses the East Coast of the U.S. (2,069 miles)!

Giving Back for World Ocean Day

Posted Fri, 05/31/2019 - 14:05

World Ocean Day is just around the corner! At the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), we are taking this time to think about the ocean and all the ways it helps us. From the oxygen we breathe, to the food we depend on, a place to play, and even jobs, the ocean gives us a lot. Unfortunately, we also add things to the ocean that don’t belong there, such as plastic bottles, cigarette butts, and even fishing gear. 

The MDP is proud to have partners around the country that help us take on marine debris and give back to our ocean. Our team picked out this list of partner projects that make us feel positive, and fuel our ‘ocean optimism!’

After the Storm: Helping Georgia Recover through Marine Debris Removal

Posted Thu, 05/30/2019 - 16:10

 

The 2017 hurricane season was one of the most active and impactful on record. Hurricane Irma was the strongest hurricane ever observed in the open Atlantic Ocean and caused widespread devastation in the Caribbean, Florida, and the Southeastern U.S., including Georgia. As a result, Hurricane Irma ranked in the top five costliest hurricanes in the U.S. at $50 billion.

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Turtle Trash Collectors: Where Classroom Simulations Lead to Action Against Marine Debris

Posted Wed, 05/29/2019 - 22:06

When we decided to convert a stuffed toy sea turtle into a model for simulating a necropsy (or animal dissection), we never imagined how impactful the experience would be for kids. With funding from a NOAA Marine Debris Program Prevention Grant, the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) MarineQuest created Turtle Trash Collectors (2TC) to help children understand the marine debris issue and to provide ways for them to address the problem.

Tackling Marine Debris in the Southeast

Posted Mon, 05/27/2019 - 14:09

The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Southeast region, which spans Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, includes gorgeous sand beaches, expansive meandering marshlands, diverse wildlife, significant history, and lots of southern charm. While sweet tea, hospitality, downhome sayings, and “y’all” are signatures of the south, so too are the issues with marine debris. Y’all, the struggle is real and it’s a sight for sore eyes!

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Creating Change through Youth in Alaskan Communities

Posted Tue, 05/21/2019 - 23:57

Bottles, bags, plastic foam trays: single-use plastic has become an everyday part of peoples’ lives, and a common sight on beaches around Alaska. Cleaning debris off of beaches can only get to part of the mess, and only serve as part of the solution, especially in Alaska, where there are over 44,000 miles of often dangerous and difficult to access coastline. To address the issue further we have to slow the stream of plastic into a state where plastic is easy to come by, but difficult to deal with.

Taking on Debris with Innovation and Determination in Alaska

Posted Fri, 05/17/2019 - 21:03

The word “Alaska” may bring to mind images of snowy mountains, icy glaciers, dogsleds, snow-machines, isolated cabins, fishing boats, and amazing wildlife. While those are all things you can find in “The Great Land,” Alaska is also a place where marine debris is an especially impactful and challenging problem.

Committed to Caretaking the Shores of Hawaii

Posted Wed, 05/15/2019 - 16:51

The southern shoreline of Hawai‘i is inundated with plastic pollution - to the point that one area, routinely cleaned by volunteers, is sadly known as “Plastic Beach.” Hawai'i Wildlife Fund is committed to caretaking this culturally rich stretch of coastline and restoring its proper name: Kamilo Point.