For the first time ever, North Carolina is mounting a comprehensive effort to address and remove abandoned and derelict vessels that blight the coast, pose navigational hazards, and degrade important coastal habitats. The North Carolina Coastal Federation is partnering with the NOAA Marine Debris Program and other federal, state, and local partners to take the first important steps to document and remove these vessels.
Summer is almost here, or already here if you live in the Southeast, and that means fun in the sun, ice-cold lemonade, and big hair (thanks a lot, humidity!). With more people out and about, that can also mean more marine debris on our sandy beaches and expansive meandering marshes. Fortunately, our partners in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are tackling the marine debris issue head on through prevention and removal efforts, and we’re excited to highlight some of those efforts this week.
For some, marine debris may simply be an unsightly inconvenience, but for many people around the world it is a critical problem that can affect all aspects of life. This is particularly true for indigenous communities, whose deep understanding of and reliance on the natural environment and ocean, for subsistence, cultural connection, recreation, and economic opportunities, makes them especially aware of the damaging effects of marine debris. Community regional expertise on the impacts of marine debris and nuanced relationships with the environment shape many NOAA Marine Debris Program-supported projects around the country.
Abandoned and derelict vessels are a common story and the all-too-common ending is that marinas end up burdened with the responsibility for them. The longer they sit, the more they deteriorate, taking up valuable space and becoming a safety hazard. Despite the best of intentions, many boats can end up as abandoned and derelict vessels in our coastal, estuarine, and river environments. With the help of the NOAA Marine Debris Program removal grant and partnerships with marinas in the Certified Clean Marina Program, the Oregon State Marine Board hopes to interrupt this common narrative.
The coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest are known for their combination of remote beauty and rich marine life, providing the foundation for multiple industries. This unique area spans over 4,400 miles of coastline and falls within the Cascadia bioregion. Despite all this natural beauty, lurking below the waves and along the rocky and sandy shores of Oregon and Washington a common issue can be found: marine debris. Thankfully, our partners in the Pacific Northwest are working hard every day to address marine debris through prevention, research, removal, and collaboration.