More than 47 tons of plastic waste was removed from the largest US marine reserve during a three-week cleanup, helping to protect endangered Hawaiian monk seals. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch dumps 57 tons of waste on Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument's pristine beaches each year. The cleanup was done by a nonprofit group that partners with government agencies; it plans a reef cleanup later this year. Some beaches on the remote reserve, more than 1,300 miles north of Honolulu, are littered with carcasses of birds that have died after ingesting plastics.

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