The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and several partners in Hawaii, announced a comprehensive long-term plan to 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, a first of its kind in the nation, will be instrumental in protecting the state's coastal communities and marine life from the thousands of pounds of marine debris that wash ashore each year.
"For too long, marine debris has marred the natural beauty of our ocean and threatened our marine ecosystem," Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Inouye said in a statement. "I have long championed a coordinated effort to mitigate the many tons of debris that suffocate our coral, kill our fish and aquatic mammals and blanket our coastlines."
For the last two years, numerous governmental, non-governmental, academic, industry and private business partners from across the state worked alongside NOAA's Marine Debris Program to develop the Hawaii Marine Debris Action Plan.