NOAA's Marine Debris Blog

Keepin' the Sea Free of Debris!

Ten Years of the NOAA Marine Debris Program: 2011


The NOAA Marine Debris Program 10 year anniversary identity marker.

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 2011:


By 2011, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) had been fighting marine debris for five years. Not to slow down our momentum in combating this pervasive issue, the MDP co-hosted the Fifth International Marine Debris Conference (5IMDC) that year, in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme. The 5IMDC took place in Honolulu, Hawaii, bringing together experts in the marine debris field. As a result of this conference, the Honolulu Strategy was born—a comprehensive guide for global efforts to reduce the impacts of marine debris, intended to be used as a planning tool and common frame of reference for marine debris activities.

Unfortunately, 2011 was a big year in the marine debris world not just because of the important 5IMDC, but also because of a natural event that happened in Japan in March of that year. On March 11th, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake shook the ground off the coast of Japan and set in motion a tsunami that would become one of the worst natural disasters in the nation’s history. Many lives were lost, countless property was destroyed, and a large amount of marine debris was swept into the Pacific Ocean. Marine debris that resulted from this natural disaster would keep the MDP busy for several years afterward, as it began to reach U.S. shores.

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.

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.

2 thoughts on “Ten Years of the NOAA Marine Debris Program: 2011

  1. As a South African and a Conservationist working within the Plastics Federation of our country, the 5th Marine Debris Conference and other conferences and workshops lead by NOAA, Ocean Conservancy and UNEP has encouraged and enriched me on a subject that gets very little attention in Africa. It really showed me that we are not alone on this issue where we do not get the same support from our own government as should be. Thanks NOAA for spending some money on my development.

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