This year marks the ten year anniversary of the NOAA Marine Debris Program and we will be celebrating throughout the year! As part of our celebration, we will be looking back on our accomplishments over the years (check out our timeline for a review of the past decade!). Let’s take a look back to 2015:
Last year was another busy one for the NOAA Marine Debris Program. We expanded our international presence by contributing to marine debris prevention, reduction, and research efforts at the G7 summit and became the Chair of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Partnership on Marine Litter. Coordinating marine debris efforts on a global scale is important to addressing the problem, and we value these connections.
We also continued to focus on the homefront and released the Alabama Incident Waterway Debris Response Plan and Field Guide. This was the first response plan that followed the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s newly-established response plan process. The NOAA Marine Debris Program is facilitating these planning efforts in coastal states to improve preparedness for responding to and recovering from debris events like severe storms or floods. These efforts work to outline existing response structures at the local, state, and federal levels, capturing all relevant responsibilities and existing procedures into a guidance document for easy reference in each state. The Alabama Plan has since been followed by similar plans for Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
In 2015 we also released our mini-documentary, TRASH TALK! This 15-minute video can be broken down into 2-minute segments that talk about what marine debris is, where it comes from, its impacts, why plastic debris is so common, what the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is, and what we can do about it. Using animation as well as live-action video and photos, TRASH TALK describes marine debris in an engaging and easy-to-understand way, making it an excellent educational tool. The full-length feature went on to win a Regional Emmy® Award this past year!
For more on what the NOAA Marine Debris Program was up to in 2015, check out our timeline and continue to keep an eye on our blog to learn more about the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s accomplishments over the past decade!