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Marine Debris Program Supports Derelict Vessel Removal and Shoreline Restoration at Weeks Bay NERR

AUGUST 5, 2019 — On July 26, the Marine Debris Program’s Gulf of Mexico Regional Coordinator, Caitlin Wessel, participated in a NOAA-funded marine debris removal and restoration project at the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) in Weeks Bay, Alabama.

Vegetation at the edge of a body of water.
One of the restored shorelines where a large, abandoned sailboat was removed in Weeks Bay. Image credit: Angela Underwood, Weeks Bay NERR.

Caitlin joined volunteers from the NERR and Weeks Bay Foundation to clean up and replant marsh grasses to stabilize parts of the shoreline damaged by abandoned and derelict vessels. The Weeks Bay Foundation received a FY 2018 Community-based Marine Debris Removal Grant to support the removal of five boats and large pieces of marine debris from the Weeks Bay Watershed. Partners and volunteers identified the large marine debris as part of an annual, kayak-based cleanup hosted by the Weeks Bay Foundation. While in the field, they also conducted shoreline surveys for "nurdles" (small plastic pellets) and found 54 nurdles at five different pocket beaches around Weeks Bay and Bon Secour.

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Hands holding small particles.
Nurdles found in Mobile Bay, Alabama, after a 10 minute survey of the shoreline. Image credit: NOAA.
Last updated Friday, August 9, 2019 3:37pm PDT