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September 13, 2007

Contact: David Hall, NOAA Public Affairs
301-713-3066 ext. 191

NOAA Joins International Coastal Cleanup Effort to Rid Oceans and Waterways of Marine Debris

NOAA employees in Hawaii, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and around the nation will join thousands of volunteers on Sept. 15 for the 22nd annual International Coastal Cleanup, a global effort coordinated by the Ocean Conservancy to rid coastlines and waterways of trash and debris. During the event, funded in part by NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, volunteers will record on special data cards the type and amount of trash they collect.

“Marine debris abatement is a priority for NOAA,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “As mentioned by the First Lady in her recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal, marine debris can travel far from its original source, floating in the ocean for years or ending up on the shores of distant places. NOAA supports President and Mrs. Bush as they encourage people everywhere to be good stewards of our environment, starting with our own backyard.  We look forward to working again this year with the Ocean Conservancy and volunteers nationwide on this important effort to keep trash and debris out of our oceans and waterways.”

"The International Coastal Cleanup provides an opportunity for communities to join together for ocean conservation and to reaffirm our responsibility for keeping the ocean healthy,” said Vikki Spruill, Ocean Conservancy president and chief executive officer. “On this great day of community service, we have the chance to commit ourselves to ocean conservation by properly disposing of trash all year long. Each one of us can make a difference for the ocean even after the cleanup is over.”

More information about the International Coastal Cleanup and other marine debris volunteer opportunities may be found at

The NOAA Marine Debris Program works with other NOAA offices and our partners to support national, state, local and international efforts to protect and conserve our nation’s natural resources, oceans and coastal waterways from the impacts of marine debris.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

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On the Web:


NOAA’s National Ocean Service:

Marine Debris Program:


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