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Animal species and ecosystems of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are threatened by marine debris which accumulates on beaches and in shallow water.
Marine debris consists of lost or abandoned fishing gear (which can entangle, severely injure, or even kill wildlife) and everyday items like water bottles, slippers, televisions, golf balls, plastic toys, cigarette lighters, and toothbrushes. Toxic chemicals can leach out from marine debris, contaminating animals at the base of the marine food web.
Trash of all kinds ends up on the beaches of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
Every year tons of marine debris are hauled off of the shallow reefs of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands by a number of federal and state organizations.