Marine Debris

Marine debris is a global problem facing our world’s waters. From plastic straws to derelict fishing gear, it threatens aquatic life and sensitive habitats. Plastic alone will outweigh fish in our ocean if we fail to take strong, concerted action to reduce marine pollution.

This video, featuring music by Jack Johnson, highlights marine debris work that takes place in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, a result of partnerships between federal agencies and non-profit organizations.

Underwater debris poses a high risk for damaging marine resources, making it a high priority for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Marine debris is far from being just an eyesore. It impacts industries including fishing, tourism, and recreation, and it costs coastal economies millions of dollars each year. While the threat of marine debris looms ever-larger on the horizon, the global community is making meaningful strides toward combating this growing challenge.

What can you do to help?

  • Use your own reusable cup for your morning coffee.

  • Avoid products with excess packaging.

  • Invest in a reusable water bottle instead of using single-use plastic bottles.

  • Bring in your own reusable bag when shopping.

  • Say no to straws

  • Keep our beaches clean by taking part in beach cleanups.

The Foundation has continually made marine debris a focus during our annual Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) conference and in our conservation programs.

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