Marine debris is a global problem affecting everything from the environment to the economy; from fishing and navigation to human health and safety; from the tiniest coral polyps to giant blue whales.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has created a KML tour for Google Earth to show the breadth of this problem, which also comes in many other forms, from a cigarette butt to a 4,000-pound derelict fishing net. Download this tour in the Ocean Gallery.
Or, watch the Google Earth video embedded below to learn more about the marine debris:
The 5th International Marine Debris Conference will take place March 20-25, 2011, in Honolulu, Hawaii. NOAA and the United Nations Environment Programme are co-organizers of the conference which'll bring together international marine debris researchers, natural resource managers, policy makers, industry representatives, and the nongovernmental community.
This conference will highlight research advances, allow sharing of strategies and best practices to assess, reduce, and prevent the impacts of marine debris, and provide an opportunity for the development of specific bilateral or multi-country strategies.