This year marks the ten-year anniversary of the NOAA Marine Debris Program and we have been celebrating throughout the year! As part of our celebration, we’ve been looking back on our accomplishments over the years (check out our timeline for a review of the past decade!). Let’s look back on 2016:
This past year was a special one for the NOAA Marine Debris Program—it marked our ten-year anniversary. As you’ve likely seen on our blog and website, we’ve been celebrating throughout the past year (if you missed it, check out our related blog posts). This has also been a chance for us to reflect on our work over the past decade and look to the future. This reflection was timely, as 2016 was also the first year under our new Strategic Plan. This plan will lead us into the future and help us to succeed in continuing to combat marine debris in the coming years. We want to make sure we’re strategic about our future priorities so that we can most effectively address the marine debris problem.
This year also saw the release of our “Get Started Toolbox” to guide those participating in our Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP). The MDMAP is our flagship citizen science initiative that engages partner organizations and volunteers across the nation in completing shoreline marine debris surveys. The Toolbox serves as a resource for current and new participants, answering questions about the MDMAP and serving as a “one-stop shop” for all the resources that participants may need.
The “Ecological and Economic Effects of Derelict Fishing Gear in the Chesapeake Bay Assessment Report” was also released this past year. This report was the result of a research project that looked at the impact of derelict crab pots throughout the Chespeake Bay. The project estimated where derelict pot concentrations are highest along with the impact of derelict gear removal programs. A “Guiding Framework” for derelict fishing gear assessments was also released, which can be applied to other fisheries and/or regions interested in conducting similar studies.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program accomplished a lot over this past year, and even more over the past decade. We would like to thank you for celebrating with us throughout 2016 and for your interest in marine debris! Having readers like you that care and make an effort be a part of the solution—be it joining a cleanup or bringing reusable bags to the grocery store—makes us proud and is essential to addressing our marine debris problem. Stay tuned next week for our final blog celebrating our ten-year anniversary and continue to check out our blog and website for more marine debris information throughout the year and into the next decade!