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Marine Debris Education

Marine debris is a global issue, affecting our ecosystems, marine life, and human health.

A scuba diver with a rusted bicycle underwater.
Click on the image to learn more from National Geographic

Marine debris is all the junk humans have, accidentally or intentionally, discarded in our waterways. Some marine debris come from human activity at sea, while some was generated on land and made its way into the ocean. It's bad for wildlife, humans and our shared environment. Human-made products (yes, even bioplastics!) do not biodegrade quickly, and they end up floating in the ocean where they could get eaten by fish, block sunlight from marine plants and algae, or strangling sea animals and birds. Learn more about marine debris from NOAA: Ten Things You Should Know About Marine Debris (

Trash in coastal communities is at a higher risk of becoming marine debris, because our litter has a shorter path to travel before ending up in the ocean. So what can you do?

  • Use fewer disposable products! The best way to stop litter is by avoiding products that become litter in the first place.
  • Visit our Recycling Guide to learn the best way to dispose of your waste.
  • When you take your curbside bins out to the street, make sure that the lid is closed and they aren't overflowing! Trash spilling out of a bin can easily become litter with a small gust of wind, even if you threw it away responsibly at the start.
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