Plastic Marine Debris Takes the Spotlight on the National Mall
JUNE 8, 2018 — On June 4, staff from the Office of Response and Restoration participated in the opening ceremony of the Ocean Plastics Lab, an international travelling exhibit, composed of four shipping containers converted into an outdoor and interactive display.
This exhibit was created by the German Marine Research Consortium and is supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the European Commission. It began its tour of marine debris outreach last year in Turin, Italy, and it is now open to the public on the National Mall in Washington, DC. NOAA is among the U.S. sponsors and participants, and the Lab features the NOAA’s Marine Debris Tracker App. The app serves as an easy to use and simple tool for marine debris data collection. The exhibit is designed to teach the public about the role of science and technology in understanding and addressing the problem of plastic marine debris.
RDML Tim Gallaudet, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, spoke at the ceremony, describing NOAA’s role to combat marine debris, and sharing his personal love for our ocean. Dr. Russell Callender, Assistant Administrator for the National Ocean Service, was also in attendance. Following the ceremony, partner organizations signed the “golden wall” and toured the exhibition, experiencing the different types of plastic debris, how science is detecting its impacts on our ocean, and the efforts toward long-term solutions.
Located on the National Mall, the Ocean Plastics Lab will be open to the public daily from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM until June 17th. To plan your trip, visit the Ocean Plastics Lab website.
For more information, please contact Emma.Tonge@noaa.gov.