U.S. Virgin Islands Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide: A New Comprehensive Guide for the Territory

Posted Mon, 05/11/2020 - 07:34
Cover of the U.S. Virgin Islands Emergency Response Guide.
Check out the new Guide.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program is pleased to release the U.S. Virgin Islands Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide: Comprehensive Guidance Document (Guide). The Guide is a product of a collaborative process with territorial and federal agencies. The Guide aims to improve preparedness for response and recovery operations following any natural disaster or event that generates large amounts of marine debris in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Marine debris ends up in the ocean every day as a result of littering and poor waste management. Occasionally, such as during natural disasters, large amounts of debris enter nearshore coastal waterways all at once. Disaster-related debris can include abandoned and derelict vessels, construction and demolition debris, and household hazardous waste, among other types of debris. It can be a hazard to navigation, damage habitat, and pose pollution threats.

To mitigate these impacts, the NOAA Marine Debris Program facilitates response planning efforts in coastal states and territories, including the development of guidance documents. The Guide outlines existing response structures at the territorial and federal levels to facilitate a coordinated, well-managed, and immediate response to marine debris incidents impacting the U.S. Virgin Islands. It identifies individual organizations’ roles and responsibilities and includes an overview of permitting and compliance requirements that must be met before marine debris removal work begins. 

This Guide serves as a complete reference for marine debris response in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The accompanying Field Reference Guide includes the most pertinent information for quick reference in the field and during emergency response operations.

Check out the Guide on our website.