NOAA Marine Debris Program e-Newsletter | March 2023

Header March 2023

Debris on a Hawai‘i Island beach prior to clean up (Photo: Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund).

In This Issue

New Report on Vessel Recycling

Meeting Marine Debris in the Pacific

Removing Typhoon Debris in the CNMI

Addressing Marine Debris Throughout California

Marine Debris Hitch Hikers

Quick Links

Marine Debris Website
Marine Debris Blog
Monitoring Toolbox
In Your Region
ADV InfoHub

Clipboard at the beach.

Monitoring Toolbox

The NOAA Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project has an updated Monitoring Toolbox! Check out the new video tutorials and database visualization tools, along with refreshed guides and field datasheets. The Monitoring Toolbox contains all of the resources you need to get started.

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2023 Marine Debris Calendar Available

Cover of the 2023 Marine Debris Calendar.

The 2023 Marine Debris Calendar is available! This year’s calendar features artwork from thirteen students in kindergarten through eighth grade from nine states and two U.S. territories, all winners of the “Keep the Sea Free of Debris” art contest.

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Website & Blog

New Report: Recycling Opportunities for Abandoned, Derelict, and End-of-Life Recreational Vessels

A boat with its sailing equipment lies dormant in the backyard of a salvage facility.

A boat with its sailing equipment lies dormant in the backyard of a salvage facility (Photo: Rhode Island Marine Trades Association).

We are pleased to share a report on Recycling Opportunities for Abandoned, Derelict, and End-of-Life Recreational Vessels. The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act required a study to determine the feasibility of developing a nationwide vessel recycling program, using a pilot project in Rhode Island as a model. The report was created by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association Foundation, in partnership with the NOAA Marine Debris Program and National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, in order to summarize that study.

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Meeting the Marine Debris Problem with Perseverance in the Pacific

A large pick up truck and a colorful large derelict net is pictured on a beach before being hauled off.

A mass of derelict fishing gear is removed during a Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund net patrol cleanup (Photo: Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund).

Throughout the year, the NOAA Marine Debris Program will spotlight each region for an entire month. Take a look back at the Pacific Islands projects we highlighted in February.

Marine debris of all types continue to be a problem for island communities across the Pacific. Despite this challenge, dedicated organizations and ocean stewards are working on projects to remove derelict fishing gear, clean up typhoon debris, offer alternatives to commonly used single-use plastic items, and much more. The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to support these partners and projects throughout the Pacific Islands region.

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Removing Typhoon Debris in the CNMI

Metal panel debris collected at on the beach awaiting removal.

Metal debris collected at Southern Saipan priority sites (Photo: Mariana Islands Nature Alliance).

The Northern Mariana Islands are increasingly susceptible to destruction from extreme weather conditions that damage homes, schools, hotels, and critical infrastructure. Our partners at the Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA) is working with federal, commonwealth, and local governments and countless numbers of volunteers to remove marine debris created by these storms and restoring habitat in the waters and surrounding coastal areas of Tinian Harbor, northern coastal areas, and along Saipan’s southern shallow waters and coastlines.

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Addressing Marine Debris Throughout California

Volunteers walk down to a cleanup site holding buckets and shovels.

Volunteers make their way to a cleanup in the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (Photo: Surfrider Foundation).

The NOAA Marine Debris Program supports various partners involved in marine debris research, prevention, and removal throughout California. Local universities, nonprofits, and state and federal agencies make up the many hands that are addressing microplastics, single-use plastics, fishing gear, and large-scale marine debris, such as abandoned and derelict vessels. From up north, to down south, and across shared border communities, these partners and their efforts create a comprehensive response to California’s marine debris issues.

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Marine Debris Hitch Hikers

Many species of bivalves and vegetation crowd the side of a lost dock.

Over 60 species were found on this dock that washed up on Agate Beach in Newport, Oregon (Photo: Oregon State University, Hatfield Marine Science Center).

For nearly as long as there has been life on this planet, wildlife has traveled on ocean currents to new areas. Marine debris also travels these currents, and once in the ocean, takes far longer to break down than natural debris. This means that the species that attach themselves to our trash can hitch a ride further and for longer periods of time than ever before. 

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