Last month, NCCOS staff participated in the Southeast Regional Marine Debris Strategy Workshop, which brought together federal, state, academic, and NGO participants from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia for the first time to strengthen the region's effectiveness at addressing marine debris issues in coastal communities. Meeting at the Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research in Charleston, S.C., the group identified goals, strategies, and mechanisms for future efforts to reduce marine debris and began the development of a Southeast regional marine debris strategy.
When it comes to marine debris, the Southeast has plenty of issues to address, including:
- derelict fishing gear;
- abandoned and derelict vessels;
- marine debris impacts to wildlife and habitat;
- messaging, education, and outreach; and
- emergency response.
NCCOS is providing this multi-agency group with expertise on the effects of derelict fishing gear on coastal habitats, approaches to engaging commercial fishermen in the reduction and removal of derelict fishing gear, and debris-wildlife interactions.
In support of the larger goal of an overall reduction in marine debris, the emerging strategy will address enforcement, engagement of policy makers, and the responsibility of longstanding debris producers.
For more information, contact Amy.Uhrin@noaa.gov.