Located about 2,500 miles to the southwest of Hawai‘i, the U.S. unincorporated territory of American Samoa lies only a hundred miles and a jump across the international dateline from its cultural neighbor, the nation of Samoa. However, both islands share a fate similar to many Pacific island nations. Over the past few decades, problems with solid waste management have been exacerbated by limited space and a steadily increasing amount of imported goods and materials. Arizona State University, in collaboration with partners in American Samoa, received a grant from the NOAA Marine Debris Program to quantify the amount of microplastics and associated contaminants in American Samoa’s marine waters and marine organisms to better understand the potential risks to ecosystems and human health.
We are pleased to announce the winners of the Annual NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest! This year’s art contest has been unlike any other, and it was made possible by the many adaptations of our young artists and staff. We received many colorful, fun, and informative entries from around the country, and although we wish we could showcase them all, we are excited to share the winners of this year’s contest with you.