The Challenges of Tackling Marine Debris on California’s Channel Islands

Posted Tue, 09/11/2018 - 14:43
By Michaela Miller, Marine Debris Project Coordinator | Santa Rosa Island Research Station, CSUCI

The Channel Islands are found in the Santa Barbara Channel in Southern California. Although the heavily urbanized mainland coastline of the Channel is home to over 18 million people, the shorelines of the islands are rugged, isolated, and provide critical habitat for endangered birds, foxes, plants, and more that are only found here. Although uninhabited, these sensitive island shorelines are plagued by large amounts of marine debris that vary in type from consumer debris like food packaging to fishing nets.In an effort to tackle this debris, California State University Channel Island’s (CSUCI) Santa Rosa Island Research Station (SRIRS) staff, faculty, and students have been working to monitor and remove marine debris from portions of Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands since 2015. With support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, over 3,000 pounds of debris have been removed from the islands, but it is no easy feat. 

No Butts About It - Cigarettes Are the Most Common Debris

Posted Mon, 09/10/2018 - 09:38

Cigarette butts are the most common type of debris found during cleanups. Consistently, for over 25 years, cigarettes butts have been the top item collected during the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). In 2017 alone, more than 2.4 million cigarette butts were found at cleanup sites during the ICC. Although the amount of cigarettes consumed in the US is steadily falling, the amount of cigarette butts found in our ocean and Great Lakes is not. Why do these butts persist in our waters? And why are they such a problem, aren’t they made of natural materials?


Join Us at the International Coastal Cleanup

Posted Wed, 09/05/2018 - 15:48

It’s almost that time of year—time for the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC)! This annual event, put on by the Ocean Conservancy and supported by the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), works to bring people together from across the globe to clean up marine debris in their local communities. Here at the MDP, we love the ICC so much, we get out there and clean up too. To get ready for this year’s ICC, we asked our team why they #suituptocleanup.  

Washington Marine Debris Action Plan Released

Posted Wed, 09/05/2018 - 09:21
Nir Barnea, Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

The NOAA Marine Debris Program is pleased to share the Washington Marine Debris Action Plan. This document is the result of a productive and collaborative effort between the NOAA Marine Debris Program and regional partners, including over 50 workshop participants, and represents a partner-led effort to guide Washington’s actions on marine debris for the next six years.

Can You Cook a Plastic-free Meal?

Posted Tue, 08/28/2018 - 09:07

Cooking a plastic-free meal may seem easy at first, but think about what you ate today. Did you have breakfast? A simple meal like cereal and milk means plastic waste from the cereal bag and the plastic milk jug. A handful of fresh berries can make your breakfast healthier, but those come in plastic clamshell packaging too. Even if you skipped breakfast and just had a cup of coffee, those coffee grounds are probably kept fresh in a plastic bag, not to mention your plastic container of creamer. So much of our food is covered in plastic, having a meal with only ingredients not found in plastic packaging can be a real challenge.  


Now Open: FY19 Grant Opportunity for Community-based Marine Debris Removal Projects

Posted Mon, 08/20/2018 - 15:44


The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce our FY19 “Marine Debris Removal” federal funding opportunity.
Projects awarded through the removal grant competition will create long-term, quantifiable ecological habitat improvements for NOAA trust resources, with priority consideration for efforts targeting derelict fishing gear and other medium- and large-scale debris. Projects should also foster public awareness of the effects of marine debris to further the conservation of living marine resource habitats, and contribute to the understanding of marine debris composition, distribution and impacts.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program Awards Funding to 23 New Projects

Posted Thu, 08/16/2018 - 11:00

Following a highly competitive merit review process, the NOAA Marine Debris Program is pleased to announce the 23 recipients of our 2018 prevention and removal grant awards totaling approximately $2.5 million in federal funds.  With each project, federal funding is matched by non-federal contributions, bringing the total investment of these marine debris projects to $5.5 million.  These awards will support efforts to address the pervasive national and global problem of marine debris that can impact wildlife, navigation safety, human health, and the economy.