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Are You Ready for Hurricane Season? Be Safe, Plan Ahead, and Secure Possible Debris Items!

Posted Wed, 05/09/2018 - 11:00

Although many are still recovering from last year’s hurricane season, it’s already time to start prepping for 2018’s potential storms. This week, NOAA is observing Hurricane Preparedness Week, to help people around the country prepare for any serious weather that might come through. If you live in an area potentially impacted by hurricanes, make sure to check out the National Weather Service’s website for lots of information on hurricane preparedness and how to keep you, your family, and your property safe. Unfortunately, strong winds, rains, and storm surge can not only be dangerous and damaging, but can also lead to a substantial increase in marine debris. When you’re prepping for an incoming storm, keep this in mind and take some simple steps to secure your belongings and decrease the risk of adding to storm-related marine debris.


5 Tools to Keep in Your Picnic Basket

Posted Thu, 04/26/2018 - 12:00

Believe it or not (we certainly can’t), it’s already the end of April! With that has come Earth Day last weekend, National Picnic Day just earlier this week, and (hopefully) loads of nicer weather. So, as we march into May, let’s keep the lessons we’ve learned from these recent holidays in mind—enjoy the outdoors responsibly and care for our planet! How do we put that into practice? Well, here are some tools to keep in your picnic basket for the next time you’re enjoying the spring weather in the great outdoors.


April Showers Bring Both Flowers and Debris

Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 11:00

Spring has officially begun and while most of us are looking forward to April’s showers bringing those promised May flowers, we often forget that this melty and rainy spring weather often brings something much less pleasant as well— marine debris. With rains and melting snow and ice, trash that has found its way to our streets, storm drains, shorelines, etc. is flushed out into our ocean, Great Lakes, and waterways. In some areas, some of this trash may have been trapped within the snow for months before being swept away with melting runoff.


Less Waste, More Action

Posted Thu, 03/15/2018 - 11:00

By: Amanda Laverty, Communications Specialist with the NOAA Marine Debris Program

We’re spending March talking all about marine debris and its types, sources, impacts, and solutions. Tune in throughout the month to learn more about this important topic and how we can all be part of the effort to make our lives and our ocean #DebrisFree.

Here at the NOAA Marine Debris Program, we are striving to reduce the amount of waste we produce annually. The EPA estimates that on average, Americans generate 4.40 pounds of waste per person per day. Now that is a lot of trash! Unfortunately, much of that trash becomes marine debris. The good news is that because we are the problem, we can be the solution too! In fact, 700+ leading marine debris experts from around the world are meeting this week in San Diego, CA, at the Sixth International Marine Debris Conference to discuss the state of marine debris science and the path forward. The purpose of this event is to expose innovation, expand collaboration, and fuel action— and to do it while producing as little waste as possible.

New Year, New Goals, Less Waste

Posted Mon, 01/08/2018 - 11:00

By: Amanda Laverty, Sea Grant Knauss Fellow for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

Happy New Year! Did you make any goals or resolutions for the upcoming year? Here at the Marine Debris Program, we are striving to reduce the amount of waste we produce annually. The EPA estimates that, on average, Americans generate 4.40 pounds of waste per person per day. Now that is a lot of trash and unfortunately, much of it becomes marine debris. The good news is that because we are the problem, we can be the solution too! By committing ourselves to one or more of the goals below, we can help move in the direction of a cleaner and healthier world. If we strive to reduce our individual impacts, we can make a huge difference together! Here are a few simple ways to get started.

How Reducing Litter Can Help Save Coral Reefs

Posted Tue, 12/05/2017 - 11:00

Coral reefs are diverse and important marine ecosystems, supporting a wide array of wildlife. Not only do they provide essential structure for habitats, but corals themselves are a unique and beautiful type of animal. Unfortunately, corals don’t have it easy. These animals are very sensitive to changes in their environment and are under threat by a preventable problem: marine debris. Thankfully, this is a completely preventable problem and we can all help to reduce these impacts!

Charleston County Library System Turns the Page on Marine Debris

Posted Thu, 11/30/2017 - 11:00

By: Sarah Latshaw, Southeast Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

Plastic bags are pervasive in marine environments and are one of the most common items found during litter cleanup events. They are often blown or washed into waterways, and can be entanglement or ingestion hazards to wildlife, smother vegetation, and clog storm drains. In an effort to reduce their contribution to marine debris in coastal South Carolina, the Charleston County Public Library (CCPL), with support from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), and South Carolina Aquarium, has ended their use and distribution of single-use plastic bags at all 16 branch locations!


Debris-Free Football: Tailgating Without the Trash

Posted Fri, 10/13/2017 - 11:00

The start of cooler weather means fall is here and for many, that also means the start of a very important season— football season! Whether you follow your local high school, college, or professional team, you likely enjoy all the festivities that come with it. This may include wearing your favorite jersey to every game, getting together with friends for a viewing party at home, or partaking in the tradition of tailgating. Tailgating is a favorite pastime of football fans, but can unfortunately result in lots of debris left behind. Thankfully, there are many ways in which you can still enjoy this football season pastime without contributing to marine debris.


The Bow Seat Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition is Now Open!

Posted Wed, 10/04/2017 - 11:00

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs is launching their second Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition! Funded by a NOAA Marine Debris Program Prevention grant, this competition serves as a fun and exciting way for students to actively take part in preventing marine debris by carrying out real-world projects.

Find out how to participate and where you should start!


Notice: Marine Debris Prevention Grant Letter of Intent Due Date Change

Posted Tue, 09/26/2017 - 15:00

Due to recent severe weather in several parts of the country, the due date for the Letters of Intent (LOI) for the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Marine Debris Prevention grant opportunity has changed. Letters of Intent will now be due on October 5, 2017. As a reminder, applicants for the Marine Debris Prevention grant opportunity must first submit an LOI, after which only those invited to submit a full proposal will be considered for funding. Applicants will be notified by November 1, 2017 if they have been invited to submit a full proposal. For more details, visit