By: Peter Murphy, Alaska Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program
Alaska is characterized by its rugged beauty, remote wilderness, and sheer size. These facts also play a significant role in the issue of marine debris in the state. With so much coastline, Alaska receives a huge amount of debris every year from both local sources and places across the Pacific Rim. “Catcher beaches,” where the shape and character of the coastline interacts with weather and ocean patterns to deposit huge amounts of debris, are often remote and can accumulate as much as 10-20 tons of debris per mile. Cleaning up debris in these areas can be difficult, but Alaskans are up to the task, using landing craft, helicopters, and good old-fashioned hard work and Alaskan ingenuity to remove debris in rugged and challenging conditions.
The real trick actually begins once the debris is off the beach.
Due to recent severe weather in several parts of the country, the due date for the Letters of Intent (LOI) for the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Marine Debris Prevention grant opportunity has changed. Letters of Intent will now be due on October 5, 2017. As a reminder, applicants for the Marine Debris Prevention grant opportunity must first submit an LOI, after which only those invited to submit a full proposal will be considered for funding. Applicants will be notified by November 1, 2017 if they have been invited to submit a full proposal. For more details, visit Grants.gov.
Meet Peter Murphy, the Alaska Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program. Reach out to Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Alaska is a beautiful and unique place. Unfortunately, like much of the country, this area is plagued by marine debris. Addressing this issue can be challenging considering Alaska has an extensive and rugged coastline, much of which is remote and difficult to access. Thankfully, there are many people out there who are working hard to address the marine debris problem in this region. Check out some of the projects funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Program that are working to prevent and remove debris in Alaska.
Last year, Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs launched their first Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition, funded by a NOAA Marine Debris Program Prevention grant. The competition empowered middle and high school students in the United States to use their creative talents to raise awareness and carry out real-world projects that address marine debris issues in their community. Bow Seat is now excited to announce the winners of the 2017 competition, who used community outreach events and marine debris cleanups alongside visual arts, poetry, music, and mobile apps to engage their schools and communities in creative and innovative ways. Find out about the next Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition too!
Thank you to all the volunteers that showed up and cleaned up at this year’s International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) on Saturday! This year’s event was another success due to the many volunteers that helped collect (literally) tons of trash! This yearly event not only removes damaging marine debris from communities around the globe, but also raises awareness of the important issue of marine debris. The data collected at each event is also used to discover what trash items are most problematic and most likely to become marine debris. Check out some of the photos from this year’s ICC events around the country.
If you’re looking for something to do this weekend and you’d like to do your part to help address the marine debris problem, join thousands of volunteers from around the world to clean up your local area. Each year, the International Coastal Cleanup brings people together from around the globe to clean up marine debris in their local communities. Join us this year—find a location near you and sign up to clean up!
Even though marine debris is an entirely human-caused problem, debris can often be found in large quantities in remote areas that are far from human populations. This can include areas such as Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and even the bottom of the ocean floor! Our National Marine Sanctuary System protects the United States’ most iconic natural and cultural marine resources such as these, and unfortunately they too are under threat.
Keep an eye on the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Facebook and Twitter accounts this week, as well as the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr —there will be lots of posts throughout the week to help you learn more about marine debris, its impacts, and solutions in the National Marine Sanctuary System.
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, works to bring people together from across the globe to clean up marine debris in their local communities. Last year’s cleanup resulted in more than 18 million pounds of trash collected by over 504,000 volunteers covering almost 15,000 miles! Find a cleanup near you and sign up to clean up today! The 2017 International Coastal Cleanup is Saturday, September 16th—we’ll see you there!