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research

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.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program Awards Funding to 25 New Projects

Posted Thu, 09/09/2021 - 14:00

Following a highly competitive review process, the NOAA Marine Debris Program is pleased to announce the 25 recipients of our 2021 Removal, Research, and North America Marine Debris Prevention and Removal Grant awards totaling approximately $7.3 million in federal funds. Federal funding is matched by non-federal contributions, bringing the total investment of these marine debris projects to approximately $14.7 million.

Mussels and Microplastics in Milwaukee

Posted Wed, 08/04/2021 - 11:00

Since 1992, the NOAA Great Lakes Mussel Watch Program (GLMWP) has collected invasive zebra and quagga mussels from sites in the Great Lakes as part of its national contaminant monitoring program. Zebra and quagga mussels store contaminants in their bodies, a quality that suggests they may be useful as water quality biomonitors. Because they are stationary filter feeders, are abundant, and are relatively resistant to chemicals, their body tissues can be tested to reveal pollution where they live. In 2018, a team of marine scientists from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, NOAA GLMWP, and Loyola University Chicago joined forces to ask whether these invasive mussels take in microplastics along with chemical pollutants, and might they be indicators of microplastic pollution in the Great Lakes?

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.

Now Open: FY 2021 Grant Opportunity for Marine Debris Research Projects

Posted Tue, 09/15/2020 - 11:00

The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce our FY 2021 Marine Debris Research notice of funding opportunity. Projects awarded through the research grant competition will investigate and identify the critical input pathways for marine debris introduction into the coastal zone (shoreline or nearshore), including evaluation of appropriate simultaneous pathways of riverine transport downstream, surface runoff, stormwater discharge, and wind-driven transport, as well as degradation and fragmentation of debris during transport.

Bite Size Plastic: How Marine Wildlife Snack on Our Trash

Posted Mon, 06/22/2020 - 10:39

Millions of tons of debris enter the marine environment each year, including our trash and damaged fishing gear, and can be found at the surface of the water, down to the deepest parts of the ocean. Many marine debris items, especially plastics, are small enough to be ingested, or eaten, by wildlife, an issue of growing concern for the health of hundreds of marine animals. Animals may directly eat marine debris, or it may be consumed with prey that already has a belly full of marine debris.

Catching Marine Debris

Posted Mon, 06/22/2020 - 10:17

We are pleased to share a recent paper that was published in the journal, Scientific Reports, by NOAA Marine Debris Program’s very own Chief Scientist, Amy V. Uhrin, in collaboration with the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, and Walsh Analytical Service. The paper discusses derelict fishing gear in the Hawaii-based pelagic longline fishery grounds, using NOAA fishery observer data.

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What Do You Know About Talking Trash?

Posted Wed, 06/10/2020 - 09:50

People all over the world are concerned about marine debris and they would like to know more about it. The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Communications Team responds to those questions we receive through email, and we’ve seen a trend. Following the National Ocean Services theme of Ocean Trivia for this week, we have created our own marine debris “trivia questions” that we hope you enjoy!

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.

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.