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Marine Debris Leadership Academy Spanning Boundaries to Tackle Marine Debris in the Tijuana River Watershed

Marine Debris Leadership Academy participants gathered outside on a site visit.
Marine Debris Leadership Academy participants on a site visit.

While much of California is currently dealing with the impacts of storm-related debris, our NOAA MDP grantees are shining some light on the positive role community members in the Tijuana River Valley can play, serving as leaders working to address the issue of marine debris in Mexico and the U.S. This publication and the corresponding ArcGIS Storymap are collectively known as ResiDUOS. The ResiDUOS project was created to collaboratively develop a community-driven circular economy pilot project, capture and characterize trash, remove debris in critical natural habitats, and develop a binational emergency response guide to flooding. The funding was provided by the NOAA Marine Debris Program from the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act. 

This effort led to the creation of a Marine Debris Leadership Academy (MDLA), the first of its kind to establish a community of transboundary experts and leaders on the topic. The MDLA was created as an eight-week program that brought together the inaugural cohort of over 40 local leaders with diverse knowledge and expertise from the United States and Mexico during the summer of 2023. The MDLA was representative of local and federal governments, academia, nonprofit, and community organizations from across the border. These partners continue to work on addressing priority needs such as developing the Tijuana River Valley’s Binational Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide. This will help community members further understand local, state, and federal response structures needed to facilitate a well-managed, and immediate response to debris blockage incidents that can cause flooding and affect vulnerable locations. The recent storms emphasize the real-world importance of these endeavors.

Last updated Friday, March 1, 2024 9:15am PST