Marine Debris Challenges National Wildlife Refuge System

Marine Debris Challenges National Wildlife Refuge System

The National Wildlife Refuge System's 174 coastal refuges (including those along the Great Lakes) offer some great places to birdwatch, fish, and observe elephant seals, sea turtles and a host of other marine wildlife. Unfortunately, they are also inundated with marine debris that washes up on refuge shores every year.

Overall, coastal wildlife refuges account for some 30,000 miles of shoreline and 20 million coastal acres.

For almost two decades, volunteers on the Hawaiian Islands and Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuges have collected and catalogued marine debris, including lost commercial fishing gear and a variety of plastic trash that has become an all too common problem across the world's oceans and coastal habitats. That such trash accumulates even on remote atolls in the middle of the Pacific Ocean highlights the challenges coastal national wildlife refuges face.

The scale of marine debris ranges from hundreds of tons of small plastics covering entire shoreline landscapes to large, abandoned vessels wrecked on Refuge System coasts and reefs. Refuge System field staff, volunteers and partners work vigorously to remove, quantify and contain marine debris. Projects range from beach cleanup by volunteer groups to multi-agency partnerships that collect hundreds of tons of submerged or shoreline debris.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently launched a Marine Debris Web site (http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/about/welcome.html) to provide information and resources to state and local authorities, the private sector and international partners – and even teachers and youngsters – on how they can help solve the problem.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2 New Ice-Fishing Rods from 2 Brothers

2 New Ice-Fishing Rods from 2 Brothers

Greg Thorne of 2 Brothers Innovations highlights two new ice-fishing rods, as part of our ICAST 2020 New Fishing Gear Guide.

Tackle Test 2020: Shakespeare Ugly Stik Carbon

Tackle Test 2020: Shakespeare Ugly Stik Carbon

Tackle Test 2020: Shakespeare Ugly Stik Carbon

Tactacam Fish-I Action Camera

Tactacam Fish-I Action Camera

Tactacam founder Ben Stern highlights the features of the Fish-I action camera with In-Fisherman associate publisher Todd Ceisner as part of the ICAST New Fishing Gear Guide.

VMC Crossover Pliers and Rings

VMC Crossover Pliers and Rings

Quick and easy Neko and whacky rigging; ICAST Fishing Gear Guide.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers. Striper & Hybrid

3 Deadly Bait Rigs For Stripers

J.B. Kasper

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers.

Here are the 10 most common spinning and baitcaster reel performance problems and how to fix them. Fishing How-To

10 Most Common Reel Performance Problems

Anietra Hamper

Here are the 10 most common spinning and baitcaster reel performance problems and how to fix...

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Conservation & Politics

NSSF: Moms Demand Action Wants No Cops and No Guns

Game & Fish Staff - July 17, 2020

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

When spring and summertime high water comes to your favorite catfish lake, how do you catch these popular fish in a suddenly flooded environment? Fishing How-To

How to Catch Catfish in High Water

Game & Fish Staff

When spring and summertime high water comes to your favorite catfish lake, how do you catch...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

The The eastern Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more trophies in these waters than just largemouths. Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more trophies in these waters than just largemouths. Fishing

Chase a Mixed-Bag Bite at Lake Oconee

Larry Larsen - April 28, 2020

The The eastern Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more...

Various companies show appreciation to frontline defense – healthcare professionals – against the pandemic with special giveaway. News

Outdoors Industry Honoring Healthcare Heroes: COVID-19

April 27, 2020

Various companies show appreciation to frontline defense – healthcare professionals – against...

Bow fisherman arrows fish of a lifetime on South Texas trip. Other Freshwater

240 Pounds! Massive Alligator Gar Taken on Father's Day

Lynn Burkhead - June 22, 2020

Bow fisherman arrows fish of a lifetime on South Texas trip.

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.