Ahhhh beautiful beaches, palm trees, warm sun—what’s not to love about the Pacific Islands? Unfortunately, this region is often inundated with marine debris due to its position in the Pacific Ocean and particularly in relation to the North Pacific Gyre and ocean currents. Luckily, there are quite a few efforts to fight against marine debris in this region. Here’s a look at a couple newly-established projects.
Starting in Hawai‘i, the Mālama Learning Center began a new prevention project in September. They’re working to raise public awareness about the marine debris problem in a variety of ways, including creating a professional development course for teachers, creating a PSA, engaging with the community, and installing and monitoring recycling and compost stations. For more on this project, check out the project profile on our website.
Although Hawai‘i is the largest of our Pacific Islands, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Pacific Island region is also made up of American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which also have marine debris littering their shores.
In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a removal project that started last July is working to foster a culture of recycling. The Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance is leading this effort which is installing mixed-waste and recycling bins, performing beach cleanups, and developing bilingual curricula with the local school system. For more on this project, check out the project profile on our website.
There is a lot of cool stuff going on in our Pacific Islands region! Keep your eyes on our blog this week for more!