A perfect contrast: A once treasured and well-traveled vessel lays on her side along the shore of the Rachel Carson Reserve in Beaufort, North Carolina where wild horses graze, researchers discover, and school children learn about estuaries on nature hikes. Abandoned vessels, some left or forgotten by the owner and others remaining after storms, pose complex legal challenges that are often roadblocks to prevention and removal efforts (Spoiler alert: there is a happy ending for Beaufort, North Carolina!).
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program is pleased to release the U.S. Virgin Islands Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide: Comprehensive Guidance Document. The Guide is a product of a collaborative process with territorial and federal agencies.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program is excited to announce the winners of the fifth annual Communicating for a Clean Future: Ohio Marine Debris Challenge! This contest is open every year to students in grades 9-12 who are enrolled in recognized public, private, and home schools in Ohio’s Lake Erie coastal communities.
It’s almost World Migratory Bird Day! Coming up on Saturday, May 9, we are working with Environment for the Americas to raise awareness on the importance of migratory bird species and celebrate the ways they connect our world. Unfortunately, the world of birds and people can collide in the ocean and Great Lakes, where marine debris can be found in even the most remote places, including far-off islands where seabirds find shelter and breeding grounds.
Just imagine having the opportunity to wake up every day to the sound of waves, a myriad shades of blue, and warm, salty breezes…For an islander, there is no place you’d rather be! But what happens when nature shows its other face? The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Florida and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands Regions include island communities that are uniquely impacted by natural disasters. Tropical islands are highly vulnerable to the impact of hurricanes and typhoons for many reasons, and one dangerous consequence is the amount of marine debris that is generated.
Did you know that a category 3 hurricane can produce over 70 million cubic yards of debris? That’s about 31 football stadiums worth of debris! If the debris is near shorelines or waterways, it can end up in the water as marine debris. Removing that much debris is a difficult and expensive process, and it can be difficult to know how to get started. That’s why the NOAA Marine Debris Program is participating in Hurricane Preparedness Week and working with coastal states and U.S. territories to help communities prepare for marine debris after hurricanes.