This year marks the ten year anniversary of the NOAA Marine Debris Program and we will be celebrating throughout the year! As part of our celebration, we will be looking back on our accomplishments over the years (check out our timeline for a review of the past decade!). Let’s take a look back to 2010:
The NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) was busy in 2010! To start, our annual student art contest began! Every year, students in kindergarten through eighth grade can submit artwork illustrating the issue of marine debris and potential solutions. The winners are featured in our annual calendar, raising awareness about this important topic. This contest has continued yearly since its 2010 inception, with this year’s contest bringing in more than 700 entries! Check out this year’s winners on our website.
This was also the year that the Hawaiʻi Marine Debris Action Plan (HI-MDAP) was published, making it the first state-level action plan to address marine debris. It established a comprehensive framework for strategic action to reduce the impacts of marine debris by 2020. This plan is revisited and updated periodically at dedicated HI-MDAP workshops. Since the establishment of the Hawaiʻi Action Plan, other regions have followed suit, such as the Great Lakes.
Speaking of the Great Lakes, guess which region joined the MDP in 2010? That’s right! The MDP continued to expand its regional presence by adding the Great Lakes region. That brought our regional focus to a total of six regions– East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, West Coast, Pacific Islands, Alaska, and now the Great Lakes (today we have a total of ten)!
The Marine Debris Tracker App also made its debut in 2010. This app was created by a joint partnership between the MDP and the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative through the University of Georgia. The app allows users to input valuable information about the debris they collect without the commitment of participating in a fully-developed monitoring program. This type of data provides important baseline knowledge which can be used to inform efforts to address marine debris. Try it out for yourself!
Keep an eye on our blog throughout the year to learn about more of the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s accomplishments over the past decade.