Posts tagged with

Pacific Islands

Marine Debris Team Takes on Tons

Posted Fri, 11/09/2018 - 09:38

How do you pull an entire space shuttle’s weight in marine debris out of one of the most remote parts of the ocean? The answer is teamwork. Last week, on October 29th, a mission ended to remove debris, mostly lost fishing nets, from the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. These lost nets are a huge entanglement risk to marine life and damage critical habitat. The three part mission involved two ships, five NOAA offices, and many more! Learn more about their journey and how they worked together to remove over 82 tons of debris from the these culturally and ecologically significant islands. 

Derelict Fishing Nets and the Pacific Islands

Posted Thu, 02/09/2017 - 12:30

Derelict fishing nets are a big marine debris problem. These nets can entangle wildlife, create major hazards to navigation, and can damage sensitive and important habitats. Unfortunately, they can also be difficult to address as they often have few identifying characteristics. This makes determining their source challenging and makes derelict nets difficult to track.

Derelict fishing nets are a particularly large problem in the Hawaiian archipelago, due to Hawaii’s geographic location in the North Pacific Gyre and Convergence Zone and the large amounts of fishing that occurs domestically and internationally in the Pacific. The North and East Coast shorelines of each Hawaiian Island are the most impacted, due to the northeast trade winds that blow this debris ashore. 

Marine Debris in the Pacific Islands krista.e.stegemann Tue, 02/07/2017 - 12:30

Meet Mark Manuel, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s (MDP’s) Pacific Islands Regional Coordinator, and Grace Chon, the MDP's Assistant Pacific Islands Regional Coordinator! Contact Mark and Grace at mark.manuel@noaa.gov and grace.chon@noaa.gov!

 The Pacific Islands are full of sun, sand, and unfortunately… marine debris. Like many other coastal areas, the Pacific Islands are not immune to the impacts of marine debris. Due to the Pacific Islands’ position in the Pacific Ocean and in relation to the North Pacific Gyre and ocean currents, they are often inundated with debris from both local and far-off sources. Luckily, there are many great efforts underway to address and prevent marine debris in this area. Check out a couple newly-established projects funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Program.

There’s a New Art Contest in Maui, So Do Your Part and Make Some Art! krista.e.stegemann Wed, 02/01/2017 - 11:55

Through a project supported by a NOAA Marine Debris Program Prevention through Education and Outreach grant, the Pacific Whale Foundation is launching a Tidal Trash Treasures Art Contest in Maui, Hawaii! Applicants must create artwork made from marine debris that they collected during a cleanup and must reflect the theme “healthy oceans, healthy marine life.”

For more information on this exciting competition, please see the flyer below. Entries are due Friday, February 17th with an entry "fee" of 25 littered cigarette butts removed from a beach, park, or public area.

New Marine Debris Prevention Curriculum Reaches Over 1,000 Students! krista.e.stegemann Wed, 11/02/2016 - 12:00

By: Megan Lamson, Guest Blogger and Vice President for the Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund (HWF) is excited about the release of the new marine debris prevention curriculum designed for elementary school students around Hawaiʻi, created through a project funded by a NOAA Marine Debris Program Prevention through Education and Outreach grant.

Over the past two school years, HWF mentors piloted this curriculum in 20 public schools, working with over 52 teachers and 1,140 students (grades K-5) in schools around Hawaiʻi Island (including schools located in Kona, Kohala, Kaʻū, Hāmākua, Hilo, and Puna). “It was a great pleasure guest teaching in the many different classrooms around the island.  We look forward to deepening our relationships with Hawaiʻi Island students and teachers in the coming years” said HWF mentor and Education Coordinator, Stacey Breining.

Marine Debris Removal in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands: A Look Back

Posted Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:01

Over the years of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, there have been many efforts around the country to rid our waters and shores of marine debris. As part of our ten-year anniversary celebration, let’s take a look back at one of those efforts in our Pacific Islands region.

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) are beautiful. Home to many amazing animals and clear, turquoise blue water, they are located far from large human populations. However, despite their distance from people, they are still inundated with marine debris that washes up from faraway places. To combat this debris and preserve this paradise, multiple NOAA offices have collaborated on a yearly removal mission to clean debris from the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and the shores of the NWHI since 1996. The NOAA Marine Debris Program has been involved in this effort since the establishment of our program—that’s ten years of some pretty impressive NWHI removal! 

Another Successful Removal Mission in the NWHI Wraps Up

Posted Fri, 05/20/2016 - 11:30

The 2016 Northwestern Hawaiian Islands marine debris removal mission came to a close last Friday, May 13, successfully hauling in 12 tons of debris from Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. A marine debris team of 10 NOAA scientists was part of the removal effort that spanned 32 days cleaning Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary, Lisianski Island, and the French Frigate Shoals.

The annual removal mission, which began in 1996, has removed a total of 935 tons of marine debris to date including the 12 tons of marine debris from this year’s mission. The NOAA Marine Debris Program has supported this yearly effort since the program’s inception in 2006. As the program celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, it also marks ten years of funding this removal effort in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. 

Take Only Debris, Leave Only Footprints

Posted Wed, 05/18/2016 - 13:47

By: Liat Portner, Amanda Dillon, and Kristen Kelly, Guest Bloggers and Scientists with the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program

The NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Coral Reef Ecosystem Program’s (CREP) removal mission in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is completed! For more on this effort, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and take a look at CREP’s interactive daily map for details on daily activities.

Our team of ten embarked on the NOAA ship Hiʻialakai to begin our journey down the Northwestern Hawaiian Island chain. We began with the oldest and most northwestern of the Hawaiian Archipelago, Kure Atoll.

Landing on the shores of Kure, our team was greeted by the State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources field crew, who remove debris throughout their field season.

Debris Removal at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge: Midway Through the Mission

Posted Fri, 05/06/2016 - 12:04

By: Ryan Tabata and Rhonda Suka, Guest Bloggers and Scientists with the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program

 The NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Coral Reef Ecosystem Program’s (CREP) removal mission in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is already half way through! The removal team has finished its work at Midway Atoll and is headed to Kure Atoll for the next phase of the effort. Check us out on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for daily updates on this effort, as well as CREP’s interactive daily map.

We were greeted by Bonin Petrels flying in the night like shooting stars and were shuttled in stretch limo golf carts to our rooms. The following morning, a brilliant orange sunrise unveiled all that is Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. 

NOAA’s 2016 Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Removal Mission Sets Sail krista.e.stegemann Thu, 04/14/2016 - 12:45

Every year, multiple NOAA offices collaborate to support a marine debris removal effort in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM), located in the remote and mostly uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Due to the PMNM’s location in relation to the North Pacific Gyre and ocean currents, this area is often highly afflicted with marine debris and these efforts are greatly needed. This year, the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Coral Reef Ecosystem Program of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the NOAA Marine Debris Program, and the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have organized and supported an effort to clean Midway, Kure, and Pearl and Hermes Atolls, Lisianski and Laysan Islands, and the French Frigate Shoals. The 2016 mission launched on Tuesday, April 12th, and will work to remove marine debris for a month, until the mission ends on May 13th