Marine debris

Marine debris is a global problem that impacts the environment, commerce, and human safety. Along the West Coast of the US, marine debris comes in the form of derelict fishing gear, litter that washes address marine debris along the West Coast.out into the ocean from population centers, and a wide variety of debris along rivers, streams, and on beaches, generated locally or coming from near and far. The Governors of California, Oregon and Washington identified marine debris as a priority action under the WCGA and launched the Marine Debris Action Coordination Team (ACT) to generate a West Coast Marine Debris Strategy (Strategy) to as part of the WCGA, the Marine Debris Action Coordination Team
 (ACT) brings together stakeholders and experts representing state, federal, regional, tribal, and not-for-profit organizations within Washington, Oregon, and California to create a framework to identify, assess, prevent and reduce marine debris.


Marine Debris Strategy


In October 2013, the WCGA announced the release of its Marine Debris Strategy. The strategy aims to reduce and prevent marine debris on a broader scale through addressing topics such as land-based debris, derelict fishing gear, and other cross-cutting issues across the West Coast. The strategy’s main objectives include: preventing marine debris from entering the ocean or littering beaches; maximizing recovery of marine debris in the ocean or on beaches; reducing and preventing the negative impacts of marine debris; and enhancing existing efforts through communication and collaboration among interested parties on the West Coast. You can read the strategy here. 

West Coast Marine Debris Alliance

In response to the call to action, the WCGA is forming a West Coast Marine Debris Alliance (Alliance) to facilitate the implementation of the Strategy, working within the framework of the WCGA. The vision of the Alliance is to work collaboratively towards zero debris entering the marine environment from land and minimal impact from ocean-based debris on the West Coast of the US. The goal is to lead an effective and collaborative West Coast effort to eliminate marine debris and its impacts. Membership will be open to any entity or individual that is interested in participating. For more information, or if you are interested in joining the Alliance, contact

Derelict Fishing Gear


Marine Debris Database

The Marine Debris Database is a comprehensive database that will be used to establish a West Coast marine debris baseline, inform policy and management decisions, and serve as an educational tool for the general public. With the database, it is possible to explore all of the data that has been collected- whether it's seeing the location of events on the map, finding out how many cleanups were performed by a particular organization or location, viewing data collected from a specific event such as type of trash collected, viewing data aggregated from all events, downloading event data, or filtering the data and performing any of the aforementioned actions on the subset of data. If you are interested in contributing data, please click here.