seal resting marine debris

Help protect animals like this Hawaiian monk seal by reducing the amount of plastic you use and always disposing of waste properly. Photo: NOAA

Volunteers Tackle Marine Debris

From little plastic bags that look like jellyfish snacks to sea turtles, to this giant mass of fishing nets that washed up on Lisianski Island in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, marine debris is an enormous problem for wildlife in and beyond our sanctuary system. Even if you don’t live near the coast, your trash can end up in the ocean.


volunteers removing debris from a beach
Debris clean-up in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Photos: Karlyn Langjahr/NOAA
volunteers removing fishing line from the beach and the water
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Photos: Karlyn NOAA
diver cleaning up debris
Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Greg McFall/NOAA