The accumulation and impacts in the ocean of marine debris generated by anthropogenic activities and aggravated by natural disasters are of growing concern, yet our existing data collection systems are rudimentary and cannot answer even fundamental questions. This is partly due to the diversity of the debris and the vastness of the ocean that complicate observations.
NASA is sponsoring a three-day workshop to review existing and emerging technologies that could be capable to remotely survey the state of marine debris in the ocean and on land. The workshop brings together oceanographers, technologists, and experts in marine debris. An important outcome of the workshop is expected to be a white paper that will be circulated among NASA and other relevant organizations and that could lay the foundation for a possible future NASA mission focusing on marine debris.