NC Coastal Federation releases Marine Debris Action Plan Accomplishment Report for 2021

Throughout the course of 2021, The North Carolina Coastal Federation in partnership with several other organizations made huge strides in removing marine debris from the North Carolina coast.

Now in its second year of implementation, The North Carolina Marine Debris Action Plan (Action Plan) provides a strategic framework for the prevention and removal of marine debris along the North Carolina coast.

In 2021, it inspired strategic coordination, focus, and direction for the organizations and communities that address marine debris on many levels.

Over the course of the last year, Action Plan partners are proud of the accomplishments through coordinated efforts that were made.

Accomplishments by the numbers:

  • 838,820 pounds of large marine debris were removed from public waterways
  • 115 abandoned or derelict boats were removed from waterways along the coast
  • 23 new businesses were recruited as Ocean Friendly Establishments
  • 6,940 k-12 students were educated about marine debris along with 797 educators and professionals
  • 24,661 pounds of marine debris were removed statewide by 1,658 volunteers during this year’s International Coastal Clean-ups
  • The City of Wilmington unanimously passed a resolution led by Plastic Ocean Project and Ocean Friendly Establishments to reduce plastic waste within the City
  • The Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Program removed 3,009 lost crab pots with the help of 60 commercial fishermen and women

Education, clean-ups, and marine debris removal efforts were all done through the many partnerships that make up the Marine Debris Removal Action Plan, including the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, North Carolina Sea Grant, Carteret Big Sweep, The United States Coast Guard, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, Coastal Carolina Riverwatch, N.C. Coastal Reserve and many others.

The Federation has offices in Newport, Wanchese and Wrightsville Beach, N.C.

To learn more, please visit or call 252-393-8185.