Texas Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide: A New Comprehensive Guide for the State

Posted Tue, 12/18/2018 - 08:33

The Marine Debris Program is pleased to release the Texas Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide: Comprehensive Guidance Document, the final emergency response guide for the Gulf of Mexico states. The Texas Guide is a product of a collaborative process with local, state, and federal agencies.  The Guide aims to improve preparedness for response and recovery operations following an acute waterway debris incident in coastal Texas.

Have a Holiday Party with Less Waste

Posted Thu, 12/13/2018 - 08:51

As the end of the year is quickly approaching, many people around the country will be gathering together during these shortened days to celebrate. Spending time with friends and loved ones is a great way to get out of the cold, but celebrations can also create a lot of waste. Packaging around gifts, food, decorations, and other party supplies can really add up. The more we throw away, the greater the likelihood that some of it will escape into the natural environment and make its way down our rivers and streams, to the ocean or Great Lakes. Having a fun, festive party and reducing your waste doesn’t have to be a chore — just use these handy tips.

Removing Hurricane Debris from Florida’s Coral Reefs

Posted Thu, 12/06/2018 - 09:08

Marine debris is an everyday issue, but hurricanes can make the problem much worse. High winds, torrential rains, and storm surges can all loosen debris and send it towards the ocean. Hurricanes often occur in the same tropical waters as coral reefs. After strong storms, tons of debris, including parts of houses, piers, and whole boats, can end up damaging these unique ecosystems. Here at the Marine Debris Program (MDP), we are working with partners to remove debris from Hurricane Irma that is threatening, or has already damaged, Florida coral reefs.

How Does Marine Debris Affect Coral Reefs?

Posted Tue, 12/04/2018 - 08:33


Coral reefs are one of Earth’s most productive ecosystems. Rocky reefs can form barrier islands that protect the mainland from storms and destructive waves. They are home to a third of all the fish species in the ocean, even though they make up a teeny tiny portion (less than 0.25%) of our ocean. The fish and other organisms that call reefs home provide food for millions of people. They are also fragile, which means that marine debris can have a huge impact on these ecosystems. How exactly does marine debris affect these living geologic formations? Here’s what we know so far.

10 Years, 4 Partners, and Nearly 4 Million Pounds of Derelict Fishing Gear Diverted

Posted Thu, 11/29/2018 - 08:56

We are pleased to celebrate 10 years of our Fishing for Energy partnership! This public-private partnership i installs collection bins that provide the fishing community with a no-cost option for disposing of old or unwanted gear. The old nets, line, and ropes are then converted into energy.

NOAA Marine Debris Awards Funding to Clean up Marine Debris in 2017 Hurricane-Affected Areas

Posted Fri, 11/16/2018 - 10:09

With financial support from NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, coastal states and territories impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria received $17.2M in disaster relief funding to assess, removal, and dispose of hurricane related marine debris.

Marine Debris Team Takes on Tons

Posted Fri, 11/09/2018 - 09:38

How do you pull an entire space shuttle’s weight in marine debris out of one of the most remote parts of the ocean? The answer is teamwork. Last week, on October 29th, a mission ended to remove debris, mostly lost fishing nets, from the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. These lost nets are a huge entanglement risk to marine life and damage critical habitat. The three part mission involved two ships, five NOAA offices, and many more! Learn more about their journey and how they worked together to remove over 82 tons of debris from the these culturally and ecologically significant islands.