By Sherry Lippiatt, California Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program
Happy Public Lands Day! To celebrate, we are highlighting the astounding success of a public lands project that has prevented thousands of tons of debris from entering the ocean. In the southwest corner of the continental United States, our partners at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (TRNERR) and Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association (SWIA) are leading bi-national efforts to reduce the impacts of marine debris in the Tijuana River Valley. Many factors make it hard to address marine debris in this region, but success has risen out of a strong community of partners on both sides of the border.
By Alyssa Irizarry, Program Director, Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs
Rising to the challenge, teenagers from across the country designed and led creative campaigns in their communities to tackle the marine litter problem as part of Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Program’s Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition, supported by the NOAA Marine Debris Program.
Disappointed you missed the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC)? Or maybe you had so much fun you wish you could participate in the ICC all the time? Good news! You can host your own community cleanup anytime, no matter where you live.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce our FY19 “Marine Debris Research” federal funding opportunity. This opportunity provides funding for research directly related to marine debris through field, laboratory, and modeling experiments. Successful project proposals will explore the ecological risk associated with marine debris, determine debris exposure levels, examine the fate and transport of marine debris in nearshore coastal environments, and/or quantify habitat impacts resulting from marine debris. Projects may address one or more of these research priorities and should be original, hypothesis-driven projects that have not previously been addressed to scientific standards.
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.
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?
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.
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.