Abandoned and Derelict Vessels

Posted Fri, 03/30/2018 - 11:00

By: Amanda Laverty, Communications Specialist for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

We’re spending March talking all about marine debris and its types, sources, impacts, and solutions. Tune in throughout the month to learn more about this important topic and how we can all be part of the effort to make our lives and our ocean #DebrisFree.

Though the legal definition of an “Abandoned and Derelict Vessel” varies, an “ADV” is generally considered to be any vessel in significant disrepair that may pose a threat to the public or the environment. “Derelict” frequently refers to vessels that are dilapidated with an identifiable owner, while “abandoned” vessels are those where the owner is unknown or has surrendered rights of ownership. Vessels can become abandoned and derelict for many reasons, ranging from neglect to theft, to catastrophic weather. 

Microplastics & Megafauna

Posted Tue, 03/27/2018 - 11:00

By: Demi Fox, Northeast Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

We’re spending March talking all about marine debris and its types, sources, impacts, and solutions. Tune in throughout the month to learn more about this important topic and how we can all be part of the effort to make our lives and our ocean #DebrisFree.

Marine debris is a serious threat to marine animals. While large pieces of litter can have dramatic impacts on marine animals, less obvious are the dangers of plastics measuring less than five millimeters in size, known as “microplastics.” These small pieces of debris have quickly become a high research priority for scientists around the world. Microplastics enter the marine environment from a variety of sources: microbeads in cosmetics, microfibers washed from our clothing, and plastic fragments degraded by the sun, among many others. The threats they pose depend on their quantity, chemical composition, location in the ocean and the water column, and availability for ingestion. Despite its small size, microplastic debris is affecting some of the planet’s largest animals.

Garbage Patches Explained

Posted Wed, 03/21/2018 - 11:00

By: Amanda Laverty, Communications Specialist with the NOAA Marine Debris Program

We’re spending March talking all about marine debris and its types, sources, impacts, and solutions. Tune in throughout the month to learn more about this important topic and how we can all be part of the effort to make our lives and our ocean #DebrisFree.

Garbage patches are areas of increased concentration of marine debris that are formed from rotating ocean currents called gyres. The most publicized garbage patch is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre in the northern Pacific Ocean. However, there are actually several garbage patches located in gyres around the world! Check out answers to other frequently asked garbage patch questions.

Less Waste, More Action

Posted Thu, 03/15/2018 - 11:00

By: Amanda Laverty, Communications Specialist with the NOAA Marine Debris Program

We’re spending March talking all about marine debris and its types, sources, impacts, and solutions. Tune in throughout the month to learn more about this important topic and how we can all be part of the effort to make our lives and our ocean #DebrisFree.

Here at the NOAA Marine Debris Program, we are striving to reduce the amount of waste we produce annually. The EPA estimates that on average, Americans generate 4.40 pounds of waste per person per day. Now that is a lot of trash! Unfortunately, much of that trash becomes marine debris. The good news is that because we are the problem, we can be the solution too! In fact, 700+ leading marine debris experts from around the world are meeting this week in San Diego, CA, at the Sixth International Marine Debris Conference to discuss the state of marine debris science and the path forward. The purpose of this event is to expose innovation, expand collaboration, and fuel action— and to do it while producing as little waste as possible.

Monitoring Marine Debris krista.e.stegemann Thu, 03/08/2018 - 11:00

We’re spending March talking all about marine debris and its types, sources, impacts, and solutions. Tune in throughout the month to learn more about this important topic and how we can all be part of the effort to make our lives and our ocean #DebrisFree.

How big is the marine debris problem? How has it changed over time? What types of debris are most common in my region? These are all important questions to ask when tackling the marine debris issue and to get the answers, we turn to marine debris monitoring.

Marine Debris & Invasive Species

Posted Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:00

We’re spending March talking all about marine debris and its types, sources, impacts, and solutions. Tune in throughout the month to learn more about this important topic and how we can all be part of the effort to make our lives and our ocean #DebrisFree.

Marine debris can have many negative effects on us and our environment. One potential impact of debris which is often overlooked is marine debris’ potential to assist in the spread of non-native, and potentially invasive, species. Non-native species, or animals that are not from a certain area or meant to be there, have the potential to become harmful and invasive. If that happens, these invasive animals can start using the local resources in an unsustainable way, or in a way that may negatively impact those animals that do belong.

On Valentine’s Day, Show Our Ocean Some Love

Posted Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:00

It’s Valentine’s Day, so take some time today to show our ocean some love. We get a lot from the ocean—food, travel, even clean air to breathe— so return the love by thinking about how you can help protect it from marine debris. Consider how you might contribute to the marine debris problem and think about changes you could make to help. Do you bring reusable bags to the grocery store? Do you drink out of a reusable bottle at work? Do you follow your municipality’s recycling regulations for items you can’t reuse? Following the 4R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse!) whenever you can makes a big difference for our ocean.

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Campaign for a “Litter-Free Mardi Gras” krista.e.stegemann Thu, 02/08/2018 - 11:00

By: Caitlin Wessel, Gulf of Mexico Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

Mardi Gras is a fun occasion for many cities across the South, from New Orleans to Alabama. Bead necklaces and other items like moon pies, cups, and cheap toys are a Mardi Gras staple and are thrown to excited crowds lining the streets during parades that begin six weeks before Fat Tuesday. Unfortunately, many of these items are abandoned on the street and can easily wash down street drains and end up in streams, rivers, and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. Learn how our partners are working to reduce the environmental impacts of Mardi Gras while keeping the Mardi Gras spirit alive and well!