Hawaii Marine Debris Action Plan: Much needed program is the first in the nation

by B. N. Sullivan

Marine debris
Yesterday was an important day in the world of ocean conservation, and particularly for Hawaii.   The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officially rolled out its new Marine Debris Action Plan (MDAP) for Hawaii -- the first in the nation.  Implementation of the MDAP is intended to protect Hawaii's coastal communities and marine life from the thousands of pounds of marine debris that wash ashore each year, just like that in the photo at right. [Photo supplied by NOAA].

The new MDAP is described as "a comprehensive long-term plan to actively assess and remove plastics, derelict fishing gear, and other human sources of marine debris from coastal waters and coral reefs along the island chain."  The plan, which was developed as a cooperative effort among NOAA; federal, state and local government agencies; academic institutions; conservation organizations; private industry; and community groups, aims to provide a comprehensive framework for activities to reduce:
  • the current backlog of marine debris
  • the number of abandoned and derelict vessels
  • land-based debris in waterways, and
  • fishing gear and solid waste disposal at sea
According to NOAA: Numerous strategies and activities fall under each of these goal areas, many of them already underway by Hawaii’s marine debris partners. These include debris removal efforts, emergency response, prevention and outreach campaigns, as well as increasing research and technology development. Progress will be tracked and measured for each of these areas.

These efforts are very welcome, and we are so pleased that the Hawaii Marine Debris Action Plan is now formally implemented.  Marine debris is a global problem, of course, and we hope that the Hawaii MDAP will serve as a model for similar efforts elsewhere.

For more information about the new program: Hawaii Marine Debris Action Plan (HI-MDAP) - 2 page 'pdf' file

Also visit the NOAA Marine Debris Program on the Web for related information, photos, and videos.

[Photo Source]

NOTE: This article was included in the February 2010 Carnival of Aloha, a blog carnival with a Hawaii theme. Have a look: Preservation and Lots of Aloha Create an Interesting Carnival

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  1. Congratulations on being the first state to implement this program!

  2. Awesome I am so glad to see this done! I recently came across this story that just makes me sick http://www.chrisjordan.com/current_set2.php?id=11.

    Hopefully this new plan will help put an end to stories like these in Hawaii!

  3. i'm so happy that this is finally coming into fruition and the public can be more aware of this situation in hawaii and other areas

  4. Happy New Year!
    I'm so happy that you do something good for the ocean. I wish every country follow your example.

  5. Great article, Bobbie! Definitely one of great concern to us all. Kudos to NOAA for that photo. Talk about a picture saying a thousand words! What a mess!

    I'm with you -- hopefully similar programs will be started across the World! Seriously.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Don't take them for granted. Our travel will never be secured without them.


We welcome your comments and invite your questions. Dialogue is a good thing!

Bobbie & Jerry