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OR&R Promotes Marine Debris and Emergency Response Awareness for New England Partners and Stakeholders

MAY 6, 2024 — On April 30, several members from the NOAA Marine Debris Program within the Office of Response and Restoration joined OR&R’s Scientific Support and Regional Preparedness Coordinator William Whitmore to host a Marine Debris 101 workshop for partners and stakeholders in the New England region. Roughly three dozen participants attended the 90-minute virtual workshop.

A pile of derelict fishing gear.
A pile of derelict fishing gear. Image credit: NOAA.

The workshop was held following increased interest by regional partners on abandoned and derelict vessels and emergency response practices. Additionally, several New England states are interested in potential grant and funding opportunities.

The workshop, co-developed by Whitmore and Marine Debris Program staff, introduced participants to the Marine Debris Program and its initiatives, including plastic waste reduction, grant programs, and Marine Debris Regional Action Plans. Program staff explained their roles in emergency and disaster response, the challenges they frequent during on-scene responses, and how these issues can be mitigated through Marine Debris Emergency Response Guides.

Representatives from at least 13 different state and federal agencies attended the workshop, including Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 1, U.S. Department of Transportation, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as representatives from the northeastern states of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine.

Last updated Friday, May 10, 2024 1:57pm PDT