Gulf of Mexico Marine Debris Project - Historical
- Point of Contact
The Gulf of Mexico Marine Debris Project created debris maps to assist boaters and inform debris removal decisions.
The Gulf of Mexico Marine Debris Project worked collaboratively with local, state, and federal stakeholders to determine their data needs and to develop methods of disseminating information about the large amounts of marine debris left behind by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information at Stennis supported this effort by hosting the web site and Internet Mapping Server, as well as automating the data ingest and update processes. The Gulf of Mexico Marine Debris Project website allowed users to access printable maps indicating submerged object location and density for decision making at the time, and now for retrospective research and awareness.
Survey work began in September 2006 using side scan sonar to image the sea floor and locate marine debris. These surveys took measurements to determine the depth of each obstruction and to update nautical charts. The project website and maps were updated regularly throughout the project. Additionally, the Gulf of Mexico Marine Debris Project team worked with stakeholders to produce planning documents to aid in the aftermath of future storms, which are available to stakeholders and the interested public through the now-static website.
The website includes maps for downloading and printing, as well as an interactive map to provide information about each item identified. This map allows users to focus on a small area and to highlight unique data layers, such as navigation aids, water depth, and benthic habitat information.
While the project ended in 2009, many of the online resources that were developed are still available as static resources for reference and research. The map below shows the survey efforts of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey and Office of Response and Restoration over the course of the project from 2006-2009. Printable maps like this show the location and approximate size and depth of debris off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. To go to the interactive map, use the Service Dashboard on this page or visit the Gulf of Mexico Marine Debris Project website.