Posts tagged with

Pacific Islands

Plastic in Paradise

Posted Tue, 07/27/2021 - 11:00

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.

Lives and Livelihoods Disrupted by Marine Debris

Posted Mon, 06/07/2021 - 11:00

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.

Home is Where the Ocean is Healthy: A Community-based Approach to Addressing Marine Debris

Posted Thu, 05/27/2021 - 11:00

Located in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian Archipelago is surrounded by thousands of miles of vast blue ocean. Hawai‘i’s crystal clear waters and landscapes are home to over 9,000 endemic species, making it one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. Hawai`i’s marine animals face increasing threats from human activities and Hawaii Marine Animal Response works daily with NOAA, the State of Hawaii, and other partners to conserve protected marine animals and reduce threats to their survival.

Protecting the Pacific Through Resiliency and Creativity Shanelle.Naone Mon, 05/24/2021 - 11:00

The Pacific Ocean’s vast size and resources have brought those who call it home great abundance and a high level of resiliency. Today, these island communities rely on their resiliency to confront the issue of marine debris in an effort to protect the Pacific. Using community-based and creative approaches, dedicated organizations in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Hawai‘i are working to protect and restore marine habitats, prevent marine debris through product research and design, and mitigate the effects of derelict fishing gear on endangered and threatened species with the support of the NOAA Marine Debris Program. 

Locations and Languages: Marine Debris Curricula and Resources from Near and Far

Posted Wed, 08/05/2020 - 11:00

As students and teachers prepare for a new year of learning, we are sharing educational marine debris resources that highlight the problem in different locations and different languages. Marine debris is a constant and challenging threat to communities all over the world. It can travel on currents across the ocean, reach remote shorelines where very few people live, and cause major problems for both people and wildlife. No matter where you live, it's important for us all to understand the problem.

How Currents Carry Marine Debris to the Hawaiian Islands

Posted Mon, 07/06/2020 - 10:45

Imagine that you are watching a small paper boat float on a lake and suddenly a breeze pushes the boat all the way across to the other side. You can no longer see it and the boat is too far away to pick up and you consider it lost. Now imagine that the paper boat is a large commercial fishing net, and instead of a lake, it’s traveling on currents in the ocean. It too has moved away from its original location, moved out into the open ocean, and is considered lost or derelict. Marine debris of all sizes can move around the ocean, being pushed around by wind and currents, and traveling to far off locations, such as the Hawaiian Islands.

 

Encouraging Tomorrow’s Environmental Leaders Today

Posted Wed, 06/03/2020 - 10:58

Locally sourced seafood is particularly important for island communities as they depend on the ocean for food and economic opportunities. This connects the health of the marine environment with overall public health. Such is the case in American Samoa, where local seafood is regularly consumed and where marine debris, including microplastics, has been identified as a priority pollutant.

Mitigating Marine Debris for World Migratory Bird Day

Posted Wed, 05/06/2020 - 13:16

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.

 

The Challenges of Hurricanes and Marine Debris on Islands

Posted Mon, 05/04/2020 - 11:47

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.

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.