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Marine Debris

Marine debris can be anything made by humans which ends up abandoned in the marine environment. Marine debris may be intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly discarded into the marine environment. Sources include both ocean based such as cargo ships, fishing vessels, or oil platforms; and land based sources (i.e. carried from roadways to storm drains or other waterways flowing into the ocean).

NOAA Marine Debris Program

Marine debris can cause negative economic, human health and safety and ecological impacts. Floating debris can be dangerous and costly to vessels - large debris as navigational hazards, smaller pieces may become entangled in propellers or clog intake valves. Debris accumulated along shorelines decreases the aesthetics of the coastline. Marine habitats can be damaged such as by scouring or smothering from marine debris. Wildlife can become entangled in marine debris or may be mistaken for food and ingested by marine animals leading to injury or death. Marine debris also has the potential to transport non-native species.

Additional Resources

NOAA Marine Debris Program

Japan Tsunami Marine Debris

Pacific Northwest

State of Oregon

Related NANOOS Products

NANOOS Visualization System (NVS)

The NANOOS Visualization System (NVS) provides easy access to forecast and observation data across a wide range of assets such as buoys, shore and land stations, high-frequency radar, and satellites.

Ocean Currents

Daily average ocean surface currents off the Oregon coast. These surface currents are measured with a radio transmitter and receiver using an instrument, the SeaSonde, made by CODAR Ocean Sensors.

Nowcast/Forecast Coastal Currents

NANOOS Beach and Shoreline Mapping

Beach profiles provide important information concerning the temporal (time) and spatial (cross-shore) variability of the shape of a section of beach.

Regional Coastal Observing Systems



Central and Northern California

Great Lakes

Gulf of Mexico

Pacific Islands


Atlantic - Northeast

Pacific Northwest

Southern California

Atlantic - Southeast