Posts tagged with

Pacific Islands

From Ridge to Reef: Protecting Guam’s Marine Life Through Student Efforts

Posted Wed, 09/21/2022 - 11:00

With its crystal clear waters and rich coral reefs, Guam is undoubtedly a hidden paradise in the Pacific ocean. It is home to five protected marine preserves teeming with aquatic animals and plants. Everything on the island is connected, from the mountain ridges to the lively reefs, meaning that even the tiniest actions can offset the entire ecosystem. The Ocean Guardian School project at Simon A. Sanchez High School worked together with five other schools across the island to minimize impacts on the ecosystem and reduce potential sources of marine debris.

Clearing the Lady Carolina from Saipan Lagoon

Posted Wed, 01/26/2022 - 11:00

The strongest El Niño episode in the Western Pacific, since the record years of 1997 and 1998, took place in 2015. Micronesia experienced over 30 tropical cyclones, and the chances of typhoons impacting the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands were significantly elevated. After several near-misses, in August 2015 Typhoon Soudelor directly impacted the island of Saipan. In its wake, it caused the initial grounding of the Lady Carolina, an 83-foot, steel-hulled fishing vessel, in Saipan Lagoon. 

Small Communities with Large Efforts to Prevent and Remove Marine Debris

Posted Tue, 12/28/2021 - 14:55

The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Pacific Islands Region of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Hawai‘i spans across 5,239,989 square miles, and is our largest region. Despite their geographic isolation, these island communities are not isolated from the issue of marine debris. Island communities face unique challenges around managing marine debris, including limited land mass, waste infrastructure, and currents that carry debris from afar. Five marine debris prevention and removal projects supported by the NOAA Marine Debris Program are in progress in the Pacific Islands Region. These small communities are leading the way with large efforts.

2021 Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan Released

Posted Wed, 12/08/2021 - 11:00

The NOAA Marine Debris Program is pleased to share the 2021 Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan. This document is the result of a collaborative effort between the MDP and partners across Hawai‘i, including federal, state, and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, industry, and academia. It represents a partner-led effort to guide marine debris actions in Hawai‘i for the next ten years.

The Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan 2010-2020 Accomplishments Report is Now Available!

Posted Thu, 10/21/2021 - 11:00

The Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan (Action Plan) was the first community-based marine debris action plan in the nation facilitated by the NOAA Marine Debris Program. Established in 2010 and updated four times, it is a comprehensive framework for strategic action to reduce the ecological, health and safety, and economic impacts of marine debris in Hawai‘i by 2020. This report provides a history of the Action Plan and celebrates the accomplishments of the community. The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud of the Hawai'i Marine Debris Action Plan community and to present the 2010-2020 Accomplishments Report.

A Mission to Mālama Through Marine Debris Removal

Posted Fri, 09/24/2021 - 15:30

Wednesday, September 22 marked the completion of the marine debris removal mission in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The marine debris removal team arrived at Pearl Harbor aboard the charter vessel IMUA along with the nearly 124,000 pounds of marine debris they removed during their 30-day mission. Marine debris removal is of critical importance to both the natural and cultural components of the monument. The NOAA Marine Debris Program is pleased to have partnered in this collaborative undertaking. 

Derelict Nets and Ghost Fishing: A Haunting Problem in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Posted Wed, 09/15/2021 - 11:00

The delicate and extraordinary environment of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (monument) receives an estimated 52 metric tons of derelict fishing gear every year from commercial fisheries all over the Pacific. Derelict fishing gear refers to nets, lines, pots, traps, and other fishing equipment that has been lost, abandoned, or discarded in the marine environment. Most modern fishing gear is made of long-lasting and/or synthetic materials, such as plastic and metal, that can remain in the environment for many years. Derelict nets and ghost fishing are a haunting problem in the monument, and their removal is an important part of protecting and preserving the unique native ecosystem of Papahānaumokuākea.

Marine Debris Removal Mission Begins in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Posted Tue, 08/24/2021 - 01:38

The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is integral to Native Hawaiian culture and is a sacred landscape. Unfortunately, marine debris has and continues to pose a significant threat to its natural and cultural resources. We are pleased to support the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center’s Marine Debris Project team as they launch a 30-day mission in the monument with support from the non-profit Papahānaumokuākea Marine Debris Project.

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.