Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cleanup Scheduled for Appledore Island

Appledore Island
A recent trip to Appledore Island, one of the Isles of Shoals, yielded more than just beautiful scenery. The trip’s goal was to scout for marine debris on the 95-acre island, and plenty of it was found, including broken lobster traps, rope and buoys, candy wrappers, Styrofoam, plastic bottles, and even a plastic Shrek toy.  The trash-finding mission was conducted by personnel from Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation and NH Sea Grant through our Marine Debris to Energy Project. Thanks to the help of the Shoals Marine Lab, a local fishing vessel, and the Maine Department of Marine Resources we'll return to the island this Monday, June 11 to retrieve the debris.

During our all-day cleanup on Monday, we'll retrieve the debris, look for identification tags on the fishing gear so that any usable gear can be returned to its owners, and bring any debris and unusable fishing gear back to the mainland for recycling and disposal.

Marine debris can be hazardous to wildlife through ingestion or entanglement, and can cause problems for boaters, fishermen and beachgoers.   The Isles of Shoals are close to important feeding grounds for whales and other marine life, making it especially crucial to rid them of debris.

This project is conducted with funding from the Fishing for Energy Partnership and NOAA that was granted to the Marine Debris to Energy Project, a partnership between Blue Ocean Society, NH Sea Grant, UNH Cooperative Extension and Dr. Jenna Jambeck at the University of Georgia. The goal of the project is to monitor and remove marine debris from the coastline and local waters from southern Maine to northern Massachusetts. With the help of local fishermen and volunteers, more than 115 tons of marine debris has been cleaned-up since 2008.   The Appledore cleanup is part of a recently-funded effort to to clean up accumulations of marine debris on the Isles of Shoals and later, underwater.

More information on the project:

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