The Marine Debris Foundation

Introducing the Marine Debris Foundation.

Authorized by the Save Our Seas Act 2.0, the Marine Debris Foundation is a charitable and nonprofit organization and is not an agency or establishment of the United States.

The purposes of the Foundation are to—

  1. encourage, accept, and administer private gifts of property for the benefit of, or in connection with, the activities and services of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Marine Debris Program established under section 3 of the Marine Debris Act (33 U.S.C. 1952), and other relevant programs and agencies;
  2. undertake and conduct such other activities as will augment efforts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to assess, prevent, reduce, and remove marine debris and address the adverse impacts of marine debris on the economy of the United States, the marine  environment, and navigation safety;
  3. participate with, and otherwise assist, State, local, and Tribal governments, foreign governments, entities, and individuals in undertaking and conducting activities to assess, prevent, reduce, and remove marine debris and address the adverse impacts of marine debris and its root causes on the economy of the United States, the marine environment (including waters in the jurisdiction of the United States, the high seas, and waters in the jurisdiction of other countries), and navigation safety;
  4. administer the Genius Prize for Save Our Seas Innovation as described in title II (subject to an agreement with the Secretary of Commerce); and
  5. support other Federal actions to reduce marine debris.

What is marine debris?

Marine debris isn’t just a messy sight. It hurts and kills marine life, interferes with navigation safety, and poses a threat to our environment, navigation safety, the economy, and potentially human safety and health. It is a global and everyday problem.

Our Board of Directors

Twelve people, in addition to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, will serve as Directors on the new Marine Debris Foundation Board of Directors. The Board will represent diverse points of view relating to the assessment, prevention, reduction, and removal of marine debris. The solicitation of the Marine Debris Foundation Board of Directors closed on June 30, 2021. Announcements and more details will be shared later this calendar year.