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Gulf of Mexico Marine Debris Mid-year Meeting and Workshop

OCTOBER 28, 2019 — On October 8 and 9, members of NOAA Marine Debris Program collaborated with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) and the Environmental Protection Agency to engage more than 60 partners at the GOMA Team Initiative meeting in Texas that aimed to tackle marine debris.

Group of people pose on staircase.
Partners from across all five Gulf states and various organizations work together during the annual meeting. Image credit: NOAA.

The meeting was hosted by the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, Texas, and convened representatives from all five Gulf states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida). This meeting marks the first time the event was held in Texas, so participants learned about cutting edge marine debris research in the state, how response to marine debris was handled after Hurricane Harvey, and innovative waste reduction initiatives spearheaded by the Texas State Aquarium. The workshop also focused on updating the GOMA Marine Debris Cross Team’s goals and objectives in the Governors’ Action Plan III For Healthy and Resilient Coasts to address both debris generated by storm events and chronic, persisting issues. 

Meeting attendees were diverse, representing local, state, and federal governments, nonprofits, academic institutions, and industry. Their collaboration, both at this event and previous biannual workshops, will culminate in 2021 when Governors’ Action Plan III wraps-up and the NOAA Marine Debris Program begins planning for its next update to the Gulf of Mexico Marine Debris Action Plan. This and future action plans serve to facilitate and track marine debris activities across the Gulf of Mexico, as well as provide a focused direction to tackle marine debris issues on local, state, and regional scales. 

For additional information, please contact Caitlin.Wessel@noaa.gov.

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