By: NOAA Marine Debris Program staff
On November 7, the Alice Ferguson Foundation, with support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, hosted The 9th Annual Potomac Watershed Trash Summit.
Nancy Wallace, Director of the Marine Debris Program (MDP) at NOAA, provided this year’s opening remarks, championing local solutions to the global issue of marine debris and urging attendees to pledge to make at least one small change in their lives to help keep trash out of our Potomac River, and our ocean.
In addition, Jason Rolfe, the program’s Mid-Atlantic and Caribbean Regional Coordinator, moderated discussions on how public and private sector partnerships can bolster existing efforts to eliminate litter. These sessions resulted in concrete actions the working group will take to strengthen those connections. MDP also hosted a table to answer questions and inform attendees curious or unfamiliar with the topic of marine debris. Everyone seemed excited to share the ‘Keep the Sea Free of Debris’ message.
Additional speakers and attendees included representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, Washington, DC’s Department of the Environment, Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Local businesses and nonprofits. Jim Dinegar, the President and Chief Executive officer of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, closed the Trash Summit with a compelling Keynote speech about the Greater Washington Area and the connections forged between economic prosperity and the pursuit of greener industry.
Throughout the Trash Summit, participants were urged to make personal pledges with their working group and leave those discussions armed with additional knowledge on how to better implement those changes. The Trash Summit organizers collected the pledges made and will follow up directly with those individuals or with a group lead for that session.
Please save the date for the Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup April 11, 2015!
In 2014, 14,716 volunteers removed 288 tons trash and debris from the region at 670 cleanup sites throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Help AFF and many others break new records next year!