The Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is one of the NOAA Marine Debris Programs’s longest running Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project partners. Six years of data collection at locations along the Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo county coastline revealed the types and frequency of marine debris on the surveyed shorelines, as well as one particularly interesting and problematic type of debris. The survey data indicated that shotgun wads, the plastic piece inside a shotgun shell that separates the shot from the powder, are one of the top ten most commonly found plastic items on all surveyed beaches.
Earth Day is a great time to celebrate our ocean, waterways, and Great Lakes, and all of the wonderful things they have to offer. This year, we are showing our appreciation for our favorite places on Earth by announcing the winners of the Annual NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest!
Although plastic pollution is not a new phenomenon, concerns over the environmental and human health implications of microplastics, or plastic pieces less than 5 mm in size, has grown rapidly over the past decade. These concerns stem from their potential to be ingested by wildlife, accumulate in animal bodies, and transfer contaminants up the food chain, as well as their widespread presence in the environment.
Microplastics in the ocean are a growing concern to both the scientific community and to the public at large. Much of the attention is focused on the garbage patches that can be found in oceanic gyres and are thousands of miles from their largely urban sources. However, the amount of microplastics is often significantly higher in urban waterways than in these remote garbage patches.
In the environment, animals may be exposed to many stressors at the same time, such as pollution, overfishing, and disease. Research suggests that animals exposed to microplastics and microfibers, or plastic pieces smaller than 5mm in size, may experience negative impacts to their immune system.
Microplastics, or plastic pieces smaller than 5mm in size, are commonly found in our ocean and coastal waters. Do the microplastics that these larval crabs encounter while drifting in the ocean affect their survival and ability to return to estuaries? With support from a NOAA Marine Debris Program Research grant, a team of University of Delaware marine scientists have joined forces to study this question.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program is pleased to share the 2020 Florida Marine Debris Reduction Plan. This document is the result of a collaborative effort between the NOAA Marine Debris Program and local, state, and federal governments; nonprofits; industry; and academic institutions, and represents a partner-led effort to guide marine debris actions in Florida for the next five years.
This week the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced the Bin Program 2020 Request for Proposals from the Fishing for Energy partnership. The NOAA Marine Debris Program is pleased to be part of this collaboration, along with NFWF, Covanta, and Schnitzer Steel to facilitate the proper disposal of retired and derelict commercial fishing gear for recycling and for energy conversion at select ports across the United States.