Preparing for the Storm with Marine Debris Emergency Response Guides

Posted Mon, 05/04/2020 - 11:02

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.

No Silver Bullet: Addressing Shotgun Wad Debris in San Francisco Bay

Posted Tue, 04/28/2020 - 06:15

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.

How Microplastics Travel in the Southern California Bight

Posted Fri, 04/10/2020 - 12:06

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.

Understanding the Movement of Microplastics in River Plumes jennifer.simms Fri, 04/10/2020 - 11:31

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.

Blue Crab Babies and Microplastics

Posted Fri, 04/03/2020 - 09:19

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.

2020 Florida Marine Debris Reduction Plan Released

Posted Thu, 04/02/2020 - 14:00

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.