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NOAA Marine Debris Program Holds Workshop to Develop the Florida Marine Debris Reduction Plan

JUNE 3, 2019 — On May 21 and 22, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) hosted more than 65 partners for the Florida Marine Debris Reduction Workshop at the Nova Southeastern University Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center in Hollywood, Florida.

Large group posing for photo.
Florida Marine Debris Reduction Workshop participants pose for a group photo. Image credit: NOAA.

The workshop focused on reviewing the existing Florida Marine Debris Reduction Guidance Plan and developing a new Florida Marine Debris Reduction Plan based on successes, challenges, and lessons learned on marine debris issues in Florida. The updated plan will address both debris generated by severe weather or events and chronic debris issues. Participants developed strategies and actions to address marine debris in five dedicated working groups: Abandoned and Derelict Vessels, Community Action, Derelict Fishing Gear, Emergency Response, and Research and Data.

Additionally, the workshop featured presentations from key marine debris stakeholders from around the country and state, including NOAA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the City of Miami Beach. Charles Grisafi, the MDP Florida and Caribbean Regional Coordinator, presented on a new vision for the plan and MDP funding opportunities. Sherry Lippiatt, MDP California Regional Coordinator, provided perspectives from the Pacific with a presentation on the California Ocean Litter Prevention Strategy.

Workshop attendees were diverse, representing local, state, and federal governments, nonprofits, academic institutions, and industries. Once completed, the reduction plan will serve to facilitate, implement, and track marine debris activities statewide.

Through the use of sustainable items like reusable chalkboard name tags, metal utensils, reusable water bottles, and digital note taking documents, workshop attendees helped divert items from the local landfill and made the workshop zero waste.

For more information, contact Charles.Grisafi@noaa.gov.

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