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Marine Debris Program Releases U.S. Virgin Islands Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide

MAY 18, 2020 — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program is pleased to release the “U.S. Virgin Islands Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide: Comprehensive Guidance Document” (Guide).

Report cover showing a beached vessel.
Cover of the U.S. Virgin Islands Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide. Image credit: NOAA.

The Guide is a product of a collaborative process with territorial and federal agencies. The Guide aims to improve preparedness for response and recovery operations following any natural disaster or event that generates large amounts of marine debris in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

During natural disasters, large amounts of debris enter nearshore coastal waterways all at once. Disaster-related debris can include abandoned and derelict vessels, construction and demolition debris, and household hazardous waste, among other types of debris. It can be a hazard to navigation, damage habitat, and pose pollution threats.

The U.S. Virgin Islands Emergency Response Guide outlines existing response structures at the territorial and federal levels to facilitate a coordinated, well-managed, and immediate response to marine debris incidents impacting the U.S. Virgin Islands. It identifies individual organizations’ roles and responsibilities and includes an overview of permitting and compliance requirements that must be met before marine debris removal work begins. 

The Guide serves as a complete reference for marine debris response in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The accompanying Field Reference Guide includes the most pertinent information for quick reference in the field and during emergency response operations.

For more information, please contact Ashley.Hill@noaa.gov.

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Last updated Tuesday, May 26, 2020 8:36am PDT