Online Resources – Marine Debris

Online Resources

Topic Key

Biological Consequences

Marine Debris Concepts


Sources of Marine Debris

Strategies for Mitigation

Interactive Tools

Interactive Plastics Recycling

"Every year, the average American goes through more than 250 pounds of plastic waste, and much of that comes from packaging. So what do we do with it all?

Your recycling bin is part of the solution, but many of us are confused about what we should be putting in there. What’s recyclable in one community could be trash in another."

Source: NPR

StoryMap: Marine Debris in Coastal Parks

"Marine debris comes in different sizes and poses a range of threats to parks, including damage to coastal habitats and risks to animals from entanglement or ingestion, as well as potential impacts from toxic contamination. "

Source: ArcGIS StoryMaps

Useful Websites

Break Free From Plastic

"The #breakfreefromplastic Movement is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in 2016, more than 8,000 organizations and individual supporters from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis."

Source: Break Free From Plastic

Marine Litter Solutions

"Around the world, the plastics industry is engaged in purposeful, collaborative work to help end ocean pollution. Members of the Global Plastics Alliance believe in integrated approaches for managing plastics resources that allow us to enjoy their benefits, without trashing our oceans."

Source: Marine Litter Solutions

Newsletter: The Flow of Trash Free Waters

"The Trash Free Waters program distributes ‘The Flow’ electronically to our many project partners and other interested stakeholders. ‘The Flow’ highlights important work that is happening at the local, state, national, and international levels related to trash reduction and prevention."

Source: EPA

NOAA Curricula and Resources

"Marine debris is a constant and challenging threat to communities all over the world. It can travel on currents across the ocean, reach remote shorelines where very few people live, and cause major problems for both people and wildlife. No matter where you live, it's important for us all to understand the problem. Marine debris is created by people, which means we can also be the solution."

Source: NOAA Marine Debris Program

NOAA Marine Debris Program

"The NOAA Marine Debris Program envisions the global ocean and its coasts free from the impacts of marine debris. The mission of the NOAA Marine Debris Program is to investigate and prevent the adverse impacts of marine debris."

Source: NOAA Marine Debris Program

OceanPlastic List

"OceanPlastic List is the global online community for sharing knowledge on the research, management, and prevention of ocean plastic and other marine debris. The community includes scientists, resource managers, policymakers, conservationists, industry representatives, and others."

Source: Open Communications For The Ocean

The Ocean Cleanup

"The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization developing and scaling technologies to rid the oceans of plastic. To achieve this objective, we have to work on a combination of closing the source and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean and doesn’t go away by itself."

Source: The Ocean Cleanup

The Plastic Tide

A series of podcasts and articles describing the human impact on plastics, our carbon footprint, and different recycling programs across the United States.

Source: NPR

Trash Free Seas

"A marine debris education partnership between Ocean Conservancy and the NOAA Marine Debris Program. It was developed as a means to educate the next generation about ocean trash and, most importantly, how we all can prevent it."

Source: Ocean Conservancy

Community Science Projects


"#TeamSeas will be one of the biggest, baddest, most-impactful cleanup projects of all time—and here’s how we’re doing it. See our cutting-edge river Interceptors, info on locally-organized cleanups, ghost-gear removal efforts and professional expeditions to areas where we can have the greatest conservation impact! "

Source: #TeamSeas

Brand Audit Toolkit

"Break Free From Plastic is taking litter cleanups a step further by documenting the brands found on plastic waste collected at a cleanup. This helps us identify the companies responsible for plastic pollution. To truly solve the plastic problem, we are calling on these companies to stop producing so much unnecessary single-use plastic in the first place."

Source: #BreakFreeFromPlastic

Mississippi River Plastic Pollution Initiative

"Through this initiative, thousands of community volunteers are collecting data along the upper, middle and lower Mississippi River to increase our understanding of the state of plastic pollution. This data is being generated through a ‘citizen science’ approach using a free mobile app for tracking upstream and coastal litter called the Debris Tracker. "

Source: UN Environment Programme

Trash Blitz App

"TrashBlitz makes it easy to collect data on trash and contribute to a robust dataset that can be used to further campaigns, strengthen legislation, and foster environmental stewardship. Use the research platform to tag trash and upload a photo during cleanups, and it automatically geotags the location and tallies the number of items, materials, and brands found."

Source: TrashBlitz