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Marine Debris Program Presents at Delaware Debris Management Training

AUGUST 26, 2019 — On August 6 and 7, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency led a debris management training for emergency responders in Dover, Delaware.

Person speaking next to a screen to people seated in a room.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Emergency Preparedness Specialist, Jessica Conway, presents on the Program’s state emergency response guides. Image credit: NOAA.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator, Christy Kehoe, and Planning and Preparedness Specialist, Jessica Conway, participated in the training and presented on the NOAA MDP’s Emergency Response efforts.

Thirty attendees from federal, state, and local agencies represented a diverse set of public service sectors including emergency management, waste management, transportation, public works, and environmental protection. During day one of the training, participants learned about the importance of debris planning, FEMA public assistance eligibility, and best practices for debris contracting, monitoring, and environmental compliance.

On day two, the Delaware Department of Transportation presented the contents of its draft Delaware Debris Management Guide, as well as agency roles and responsibilities included in the Guide. Jessica then shared the NOAA MDP’s response history and objectives for its Regional Response Planning project in Delaware. The MDP Regional Response Project aims to improve coastal states’ preparedness in their responses to, and recovery from, acute marine debris incidents. As part of this goal, the MDP produces guidance documents - called Emergency Response Guides - to facilitate action when an emergency strikes. The Delaware Guide will lay out existing roles, responsibilities, and jurisdictions of federal, state, and local partners regarding waterway debris response, as well as challenges and recommended actions.

Jessica’s presentation offered a unique opportunity to highlight waterway debris preparedness to emergency responders and solicit feedback on what they would like to see in a Delaware Emergency Response Guide. Participants in the room were interested in learning more about response to waterway debris and how their current efforts can be tied into the MDP’s Regional Response Planning Project. 

The Marine Debris Program will host an in-person regional response planning workshop this winter to gather additional feedback from Delaware agencies and plans to publish the Delaware Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide in early 2020. Please visit the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Emergency Response Guide page for more information on existing guidance documents for the Gulf of Mexico, Southeast, and Florida and Caribbean regions.

For additional information, please contact Jessica.Conway@noaa.gov or Amy.Gohres@noaa.gov.

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