Download the Marine Defender app to report and map oil pollution and marine debris.


About Us


What is the Marine Defenders Project?

While the media tends to focus on dramatic accidental discharges of oil like the recent Deep Water Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, most of the oil spilled into the world’s oceans by humans actually comes from intentional spills from ships.

One recent study estimated that more than 88 million gallons of oil is intentionally spilled into US waters each year – nearly eight times more than the amount of oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez into Alaskan waters.

Because chronic oil pollution is intentional, it represents the single most easily controlled aspect of oil pollution in US waters.

Changing mariners’ attitudes about illegal dumping will decrease the amount of oil entering our waters and improve the health of our coastal environment.

Marine Defenders is an educational program designed to reduce chronic oil pollution along US coastal waters in New Jersey and New York.

The goal is to teach mariners aboard US-registered vessels about the extent of chronic oil pollution, its impact on the marine environment, and the key laws that govern oil pollution.

Marine Defenders is in the process of creating lesson plans for college students about chronic oil pollution as well as a short educational film and a mobile reporting tool that turns concerned citizens into Marine Defenders.

The Marine Defenders mobile reporting tool allows real-time reports of oil spills and marine debris to be mapped geospatially on the Marine Defenders website and reported to the Coast Guard via the National Reporting Center.


The Marine Defenders Project was produced by Common Good Productions for the SUNY Maritime College

"National Fish and Wildlife Credit
Marine Defenders is a public educational project created with support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and with additional support from the American Littoral Society.

National Fish and Wildlife Disclaimer
The views and conclusions contained in this document/website/app are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The Marine Defenders website was built by Stellabean. Stellabean is a boutique design company that creates beautiful and useful brand communications for its clients.

The Marine Defenders mobile reporting tool was developed by Proxy Design Studio

Proxy Design Studio is a collaborative partnership formed by Mark Collins and Toru Hasegawa in 2006. The studio is focused on delivering innovative design products by linking the unique and complementary aspects of human and machine intelligence. Proxy leverages the design insight of its creative team with powerful cloud technologies and computational tools to create compelling experiences across a range of media. Since its founding, Proxy has created a diverse array of products including mobile applications, innovative building structures, medical devices and algorithmically informed publications.


Credits: Produced and Directed by Micah Fink
Edited by Karen K. H. Sim
Cinematography: Tom Hurwitz, ASC
Original Music by Amanda Harberg
Graphic Design: Molly Schwartz
Additional Cinematography: Jerry Risius
Location Sound: Jose Araujo and Michael Jones
2nd Camera / Assistant Cameras: Caleb Heller, Mark Kendall, Yuki Kokubo, Jenni Morello
Associate Producer: Tara Nadolny
Researcher: Yuki Kokubo
Assistant Editor: Vincent Welch
Intern: Andrea Parente
Sound Edit and Mix: Margaret Crimmins and Greg Smith, Dog Bark Sound, Inc.
Online Facility: Frame:Runner, NYC

Stock footage courtesy of:
The WPA Film Library
Getty Images
CBS News
NOAA Fisheries Service
US. Department of Justice
Mark G. Carls, John F. Thedinga

Additional video by:
Air Station New Orleans, U.S. Coast Guard
Staff Sgt. Jose E. Contreras.

This film was produced in cooperation with the SUNY Maritime College and with support from the US Fish and Wild Life Foundation.

Special thanks
Captain Walter Nadolny
SUNY Maritime College
The US Department of Justice, Environmental Crimes Division
Kathleen O'Leary, US Attorney's Office, District of N.J.
Dr. Larry Niles and the members of
The International Shorebird Project
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Rutgers University
Lt. Commander Andre Murphy
Ensign Shawn Karasevicz
Charles Rowe
The US Coast Guard, Station New York
Ohmsett Facility

A Common Good Production. 2012

Common Good Productions