Report: Results of Marine Debris Monitoring in Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary
A June 2010 report released by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) provides Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS) with a framework to monitor marine debris within the Sanctuary. NCCOS scientists worked with sanctuary staff to select, mark, and perform initial marine debris surveys at nine permanent monitoring sites within GRNMS, to quantify long-term trends in types, abundance, impacts and accumulation rates of debris. In general, most marine debris was found on tall, well-colonized ledges, which not only support more fish but also hook fishing gear more readily. After one year, new debris had accumulated at one-third of the monitoring sites. Over 23 kg of fishing gear and other debris was removed during the two survey periods. GRNMS staff and volunteers will continue to perform the survey on an annual basis. The annual monitoring data will be used to improve estimates of accumulation rates of marine debris within GRNMS, which in turn will aid managers determining how often removal activities should take place.
The report is available for download at http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/ecosystems/sanctuaries/grays_reef_marine_report.pdf_ or visit the project website at http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/ecosystems/sanctuaries/marine_debris.aspx