NOAA's Marine Debris Blog

Keepin' the Sea Free of Debris!

Giving Back to Mother Earth

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By: Asma Mahdi

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and last month we all took some time to celebrate one of the greatest mothers of all: Mother Earth.

April, being Earth Month, was full of activities to help protect and restore our ocean planet. The NOAA Marine Debris Program thanks all the volunteers that came out to celebrate Mother Earth. Our staff and partners took to local lakes, rivers, streams, and coasts to help with the effort of keeping our waters clean. Here’s a look at some of our April highlights:

CoastSavers (Washington)

More than 80 volunteers came out at first “light” to cleanup parts of Washington’s outer coastline at Sand Point and Cape Alava.

CoastSavers, a program of the Washington Clean Coast Alliance (WCCA), has been organizing and coordinating the Earth Day cleanup since 2007. A coalition of federal, state, and local  agencies, Indian Tribes, NGO, industry and citizen volunteers, the WCCA works throughout the year to address marine debris, and supports to execute such a large event, with over 50 sites cleaned.


A high-five for a job well done removing debris from Washington’s outer coastline and trekking it back for disposal!


Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) (Washington, D.C.)

NOAA staff and volunteers participated in AWS’ annual Earth Day cleanup event in the nation’s capitol. The cleanup took place at more than 30 sites throughout Anacostia’s watershed. Volunteers joined forces to remove debris from neighborhoods, parks, streams, and the Anacostia river.

IMG_4794NOAA staff dig deep to remove debris from Anacostia River’s shoreline.

Surfrider, San Francisco Chapter (California)

Keeping their environmental footprint in mind, Surfrider’s San Francisco chapter hosted a low-waste beach cleanup in Ocean Beach, CA. They provided reusable buckets for volunteers to collect marine debris. This helped reduce the use of plastic bags used at the cleanup site.


Volunteers return with marine debris in reusable buckets at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach cleanup.

Texas GLO Spring Cleanup (Texas)

Into it’s 29th year, the annual Texas Adopt-A-Beach Spring Cleanup attracted nearly 5,000 volunteers this past month. They removed 60 tons of debris from 150 miles from the state’s shorelines.


Cleanup volunteers take-on a spread of plastic water bottles that have accumulated on San Jose Island, TX.

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (Hawaii)

Local organizations, such as Kailua Beach Adventures, teamed up with Sustainable Coastline Hawaii to clean Hawaii’s beaches and involve the community during Earth Month. Last year, Kailua Beach Adventures won the “Microplastic Sand Sifter” competition with Sustainable Coastline Hawaii.

sand sifter

Volunteers sifted sand to find microplastics and nurdles that are often hidden.

A huge THANK YOU to all the volunteers and happy Mother’s Day to Mother Earth!

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.

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