What do microplastics, nesting sea turtles, derelict crab trap floats, local fishermen, and whale guts have in common? They’re all part of some of the exciting projects going on in the Southeast region to fight marine debris! There’s lots going on in the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Southeast region right now, check out a quick glimpse at some of these projects supported by the MDP:
Starting down in Florida, Sea Grant is creating a network of citizen scientists to test water samples for microplastics and using that information to educate Floridians about plastic debris. Check out this project here.
The Coastal Cleanup Corporation is also working to improve the marine debris issue in Florida by removing marine debris from sea turtle nesting beaches, efforts that have been found to make a big difference in the past! Check out this project here.
Moving up the coast to South Carolina, the Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), with the support of Fishing for Energy partners, is working to prevent the creation of derelict crab pots by field testing some sweet float rigging designs and educating recreational boaters about how to avoid trap lines. Check out this project here.
Continuing on to North Carolina, the North Carolina Coastal Federation is working with local fishermen and other partners to implement a crab pot recovery program, with the goal of creating a self-sustaining, long-term, fishermen-led program! Check out this project here.
The University of North Carolina Wilmington is also focusing on marine debris in North Carolina by educating students about the subject using hands-on lessons inside a life-sized inflatable whale classroom! Yes, they are going inside an inflatable whale, checking out its guts, and discussing how marine debris impacts animals. Check out this project here.
So many exciting things are happening in the Southeast region this year! Stay tuned to the NOAA Marine Debris Program website and this blog for updates on projects in this region and throughout the country.