Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Marine Debris Team

Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, 147 Tribes

Marine Debris

Marine debris degrades ocean habitats, endangers marine and coastal wildlife, causes navigation hazards, results in economic losses to industry and governments, and threatens human health and safety.  EPA Pacific Southwest (Region 9) is tapping existing programs and resources to advance the prevention, reduction and clean-up of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean.  EPA Pacific Southwest activities build upon specific recommendations of the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee by targeting threats and sources of debris and responding to debris impacts.  EPA is initiating a three-pronged effort to reduce sources of marine debris, prevent trash from entering the oceans, and assess the human and ecosystem impacts and potential for cleanup.

Marine Debris in the North Pacific

Source Reduction

Plastic bags filled to overflowing

Appropriate management of wastes can prevent items, such as disposable plastic bags, from becoming marine debris. The California Coastal Commission found that plastic bags comprise 13.5% of shoreline litter; the City of Los Angeles found that plastic bags make up 25% of litter in storm drains.

More about EPA’s position on disposable bags:

Other Source Reduction Resources

Approaching Zero Trash

Graphic-link to Approaching Zero Trash web page

Stakeholders in both the Los Angeles River watershed and San Francisco Bay Area watershed have established timelines to reach a goal of zero trash entering the Pacific Ocean from stormwater runoff.

Learn more about approaching zero trash.

Marine Debris Strategy: Prevention, Reduction & Cleanup

Gyre Marine Debris Strategy - Click for Larger PDF

Larger version of this chart (PDF) (1 pg, 900K)
This graphic's content in plain text

Pacific Southwest NewsroomPacific Southwest Programs Grants & FundingUS-Mexico Border Media CenterCareers About EPA Region 9 (Pacific Southwest)A-Z Index

Jump to main content.