Washington Marine Debris Action Plan Released

Posted Wed, 09/05/2018 - 09:21
Nir Barnea, Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

The NOAA Marine Debris Program is pleased to share the Washington Marine Debris Action Plan. This document is the result of a productive and collaborative effort between the NOAA Marine Debris Program and regional partners, including over 50 workshop participants, and represents a partner-led effort to guide Washington’s actions on marine debris for the next six years.

Washington Marine Debris Action Plan cover
 (Photo: Heidi Walker)

Throughout Washington, numerous organizations have worked diligently to prevent and remove marine debris from shorelines and marine waters. Since 1971, marine debris removal has been conducted along Washington’s Pacific Coast and throughout the Puget Sound. Outreach projects have targeted recreational and commercial fishermen to reduce gear loss and increase reporting of lost gear. Educational programs for children and adults have been developed to increase awareness of marine debris and encourage actions to prevent it. Marine debris is a large-scale problem, and its prevention and removal efforts benefit from partnerships and collaborations facilitated by a marine debris action plan.

The purpose of this Action Plan is to facilitate and track actions that prevent and reduce marine debris throughout Washington State, including the Puget Sound, the Northwest Straits, Washington’s Pacific Coast, the Columbia River estuary, and inland sources.

The Action Plan has four main goals:

  • Prevention: Prevent generation of marine debris through coordinated actions
    that include community engagement, policy changes, best management practices, and incentive programs;

  • Removal: Locate, identify, remove, and recycle or dispose of land- and ocean-based
    marine debris from Washington’s shorelines and waters;

  • Research: Conduct coordinated, high-quality research to inform actions that
    reduce the adverse impacts of marine debris; and

  • Coordination: Coordinate marine debris actions effectively throughout Washington

Each goal is further defined by strategies and specific actions for each strategy.

The MDP solicited partners’ input on the Action Plan through two workshops and several rounds of review and comment. Participants will update the plan every two years and will provide content for a biannual newsletter detailing Action Plan progress.

Washington Marine Debris Action Plan partners
Participants from the Washington Marine Debris Action Plan workshop (Photo Credit: NOAA)

The MDP greatly appreciates this collaborative effort. For more information, please contact Nir Barnea (nir.barnea@noaa.gov).