By: Nancy Wallace
2014 was a ground breaking year for our program. We paved the way in the marine debris field by releasing a first of its kind economic study that assessed how litter affects beachgoers’ economic welfare and publishing marine debris science papers summarizing the issues of entanglement and ingestion. Looking to the future, this research will help us grasp a better understanding of marine debris impacts to our economy and our oceans.
As we forged forward with new science, we also continued the important work of removing debris from our oceans and cultivating future environmental stewards through education and outreach. This year, we reached 12,628 students and 168 teachers through hands-on education and outreach. We also continued our efforts to clean up and remove disaster debris from Superstorm Sandy and the 2011 tsunami that struck Japan. There is no doubt that more severe storm events are in our future. These events will leave behind significant amounts of debris, and in our new response role, we are working with states across the nation to strengthen our coastal resilience through regional planning.
I am excited to build on the momentum we created into this new fiscal year as we launch partnerships across the country and continue to address and remove marine debris from our oceans. I am honored to work with a dedicated staff and a passionate community that eagerly wants to keep marine debris out of our oceans and Great Lakes. With great excitement, I present our 2014 Accomplishments Report, which highlights some of our major achievements over the past fiscal year.