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Marine Debris Program Presents at Virtual 2021 Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Summit

AUGUST 2, 2021 ─ On July 17, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) Director Nancy Wallace, Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator Christy Kehoe, and Marine Debris Monitoring Coordinator Hillary Burgess presented at a virtual 2021 Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Summit.  The three-day Summit brought together over 475 attendees from Mid-Atlantic regional entities working on marine debris, including state and federal agencies, tribes, non-profit organizations, academia, and other groups.

Abandoned lobster traps.
Derelict lobster traps removed from the Long Island Sound. Image credit: Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Participants identified opportunities for coordination, discussed current and emerging marine debris topics, and highlighted solutions to marine debris prevention and reduction. 

Opening remarks were provided by Alexandra Cousteau, Senior Advisor to Oceana, and Senator Coons from Delaware. Nancy presented during the federal initiatives session and provided an overview of the MDP. She also participated on a panel with the Environmental Protection Agency Trash Free Waters Program and the Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Christy presented on the MDP’s Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Action Plan and emergency response guides, and also moderated a session on derelict fishing gear. Hillary presented on the Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project and opportunities to monitor marine debris across the region. 

The Summit was organized with funding provided through the NOAA Office for Coastal Management’s support for the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator served on the Summit Planning Team. 

For more information, please contact Christy.Kehoe@noaa.gov.

Deflated balloons laying on the beach.
Balloon litter can impact wildlife and the environment on Mid-Atlantic coasts. Image credit: Clean Virginia Waterways of Longwood University.
Last updated Friday, August 6, 2021 12:46pm PDT