DID YOU KNOW?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines marine debris as any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes.
Tons of trash from land and boats constantly finds its way into bodies of water – intentionally and unintentionally. Marine debris is predominantly plastic and can't dissolve, and includes everything from soda bottles to fishing nets to the contents of lost cargo containers.
Everything is connected: It's easy for a plastic bag to blow out of a city garbage can into a storm drain, then travel through pipes and downriver into an ocean. Marine debris kills animals that mistake the debris for food or become entangled. Ocean trash also causes an unsightly mess that harms quality of life and tourism economies in places like Alaska.
Marine debris poses an immense challenge, but solutions are at hand.