Marine debris is defined as any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes. There is no part of the world left untouched by debris and its impacts. It is one of the most widespread pollution problems facing the world's ocean and waterways.
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.
The name "Pacific Garbage Patch" has led many to believe that this area is a large and continuous patch of easily visible marine debris items such as bottles and other litter—akin to a literal island of trash that should be visible with satellite or aerial photographs. This is not the case.
Join the citizen science initiative that engages NOAA partners and volunteers across the nation to survey and record the amount and types of marine debris on shorelines.