NOAA's Marine Debris Blog

Keepin' the Sea Free of Debris!

Marine Debris in Your Backyard


By: Asma Mahdi, Outreach and Communications


Photo credit: John Everett Ocean pollution can consist of everyday products like the plastics bottles, soda cans, and sports balls shown here floating  in the water.

Photo credit: John Everett. Ocean pollution can consist of everyday products like the plastics bottles, soda cans, and sports balls shown here floating in the water.

When you hear the words marine debris, what’s the first image that comes to mind? For some, it’s lost fishing gear that entangles animals. For others, it’s post-consumer waste such as soda bottles and other single-use items littering beaches.

In reality, it’s both, but common types of marine debris can vary region by region. How they end up in the marine environment can depend on the debris type, ocean currents, and weather patterns.

Derelict fishing gear, as the name suggests, has been either discarded or abandoned in the marine environment most likely following fishing activities. But, how do thousands of cigarette butts end up on the beach? A cigarette butt, flicked onto a highway – hundreds of miles from the beach – can make its way to the ocean through the interconnected chain of storm drains, which is also true for most improperly discarded waste.

In our upcoming blog series “Marine Debris in Your Backyard,” we will take you on a journey across the nation, looking at the nine different regions the NOAA Marine Debris Program spans and the most common types of debris found in them, and how it may have ended up there.

Follow us over the next several weeks as we take our first dive with Alaska – a marine debris accumulation hot spot.

Author: NOAA Marine Debris Program

The NOAA Marine Debris Program envisions the global ocean and its coasts, users, and inhabitants free from the impacts of marine debris. Our mission is to investigate and solve the problems that stem from marine debris, in order to protect and conserve our nation's marine environment, natural resources, industries, economy, and people.

3 thoughts on “Marine Debris in Your Backyard

  1. Reblogged this on aquaticweedharvester and commented:
    Ugh…………… #marinedebris is such a huge problem. Most of everything looks as though it could be recycled rather than swirling around in the oceans.

  2. Pingback: Taking a Closer Look at Marine Debris in Your Backyard | NOAA's Response and Restoration Blog

  3. Come visit us in Miami, FLA, where we have a huge problem with marine debris. I’ll be happy to show you around.

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