Tracking The Sources And Sinks of Local Marine Debris In Hawai‘i

Plastic pollution, marine debris, Hawaii, Papahanaumokuakea. Photo source: Claire Fackler, CINMS / NOAA


Plastic pollution has biological, chemical, and physical effects on marine environments and economic effects on coastal communities. These effects are acute on southeastern Hawai’i Island, where volunteers remove 16 metric tons of debris annually from a 15 km coastline. Although the majority is foreign-origin, a portion is locally-generated.

This study demonstrated that local pollutants can be retained nearby, contribute to the island’s debris-accumulation area, and quickly contaminate other islands…

Read Original Study, By Carson HS, Lamson MR, Nakashima D, Toloumu D, Hafner J, Maximenko N, McDermid KJ.

Plastic pollution, marine debris. Plastic debris littering Hawaiian shoreline. Hawaii is located near the center of the North Pacific gyre where debris tends to concentrate. Captions and Photo source: Eric Johnson / NOAA

Plastic Pollution: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care

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