Once again, our marine debris team split—one team of five stayed at Midway Atoll and one team of ten departed on the vessel Imua to clean up land debris on other islands. They went to Kure, Pearl and Hermes, Laysan, Lisianski, and French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
After finding so many nets on the reef, it was time to finish land debris removal on Spit Island. We finished cleaning the rest of the island within a couple of hours, and headed back to sort through most of the nets, buoys, and bulky items we collected over the past couple of weeks.
So far, we have more than 600 buoys collected from Eastern and Spit Islands. Since our time here is limited, we will sort through most of the plastics we have collected once we get back to Honolulu.
We just started on Sand Island, the largest and only habited island here at Midway. There is quite a bit of debris on the beaches here and our backs are feeling it.
As we turn in for the night, we are all exhausted but excited to get back out there and clean the beaches tomorrow. Our time is so valuable here, we really cherish the experience and focus on the critical importance of cleaning up marine debris from the land and sea.
Meet the Blogger
Kelly earned her master’s degree in Zoology from University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa researching shark sensory biology and behavior. If she is not in the water, Kelly is outdoors adventuring or with friends and family. Kelly is excited to get back to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, remove as much marine debris as possible, and bring awareness to this global issue.
Follow the team as they travel to the islands and atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands with photos and updates on their Story Map.
NOAA Fisheries marine debris project in the Pacific Islands region is supported by NOAA (Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Pacific Islands Regional Office, Marine Debris Program, National Marine Sanctuaries, and the Damage Assessment Remediation and Restoration Program,) in partnership with the University of Hawaii's Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, the State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.