Spanning over 18,000 acres, Jamaica Bay is one of New York City’s unique estuaries for conservation, as well as urban recreation. The Bay is almost equal to the size of Manhattan and is surrounded by the Rockaway Peninsula to the South, Brooklyn to the West, and Queens to the East. Abandoned boats and other mid- to large-scale debris are scattered throughout the Bay.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Mid-Atlantic region spans the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia, and is home to the largest estuary in the United States, the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately, derelict fishing gear and lost crab pots can threaten these important resources by continuing to capture and kill wildlife, damage sensitive habitats, and even compete with and damage active fishing gear.
In 1967, soul singer Otis Redding wrote the hit song (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay while visiting a friend’s houseboat on Richardson’s Bay, an inlet on the northern portion of San Francisco Bay near the City of Sausalito. To this day, the area surrounding Richardson’s Bay has an eccentric bohemian vibe and is home to a melting pot of residents who share a historic maritime culture that started with the shipbuilding industry moving in during World War II.
California is home to 12% of the nation’s population, with 26 million people living in counties along its 3,427 mile coastline. The average American generates an average of 4.5 lbs of trash per day (EPA estimate as of 2017) multiplied by 26 million people, that's 117,000,000 lbs of trash generated just from California's coastal population for one day! Inevitably some portion of that waste is littered, lost, or “leaked” through waste management and can eventually reach California’s coastal ocean and become marine debris.
Western New York State lies in the heart of the lower Great Lakes Basin and includes the Niagara River Watershed. The Niagara River Watershed is notable for its important habitats, which supports lake sturgeon, muskellunge, lake trout, walleye, and northern pike, and has been internationally recognized as an important migratory route for birds.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program is pleased to share the 2020-2025 Great Lakes Marine Debris Action Plan. This document is the result of a collaborative effort between the NOAA Marine Debris Program and partners in Ontario, Canada and eight U.S. states (IL, IN, MI, MN, NY, OH, PA, WI), and represents a partner-led effort to guide marine debris actions in the Great Lakes for the next five years.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program Great Lakes Region spans eight states from Minnesota to New York, covers the north coast, and forms a water boundary between the United States and our Canadian friends to the North.
Historically, the tribal community of St. Paul Island, Alaska, would walk the shorelines of our island to remove debris, such as driftwood and animal bones from the beaches, ensuring that the summer homes of laaqudan, or Northern Fur Seals, were clean and accessible.