Approximately 100,000 Pounds of Sea Debris Removed from Pacific Atolls (credit U.S Fish and Wildlife Service)
Throughout the past 6 years, a massive undertaking has been going on removing 100,000 pounds of debris from the Pacific Ocean, and it has now been completed. Along the Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, and the Battle of Midway National Memorial 12 shipping containers filled with material have been gathered and sent to Honolulu, Hawaii for processing. This material is now being used to produce electricity for the state.
Anthropogenic waste has posed a huge problem for marine life, including the endangered Leatherback Turtle and the Blue Whale. Most of this debris is consumed by birds and small fish, causing serious, if not fatal injuries. The reefs along the atolls have been suffering due to ocean acidification and the increase of debris covering them.
The cleanup has been one of many efforts by the state and surrounding areas to clean up the ocean.
"With the high rate of marine debris accumulation in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, removing debris is imperative to ensure the health of this valuable habitat and the species that call it home. We are happy to have the opportunity to work with partners on this important initiative," said Mark Manuel, NOAA Marine Debris Program Pacific Islands Regional Coordinator.
Thanks to the work of the Unites States, Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Hawaii, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, marine life can thrive once more.
To learn more about other ongoing clean-up efforts occurring across the Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean, be sure to click here!
©2017 Meteorologist David Tedesco