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.
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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, 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.
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!