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Marine Debris Program Facilitates First National Ocean Service Zero Waste Workshop

AUGUST 19, 2019 — On July 31, the National Ocean Service (NOS) Zero Waste Team, comprised of 13 representatives from NOS program offices and NOS headquarters, came together at the first Zero Waste Workshop in Silver Spring, Maryland.

People sitting around tables looking at a screen in the front of the room.
Alexandra Brown, Administrative Program Specialist for the NOAA/OCAO, presents on the NOS Silver Spring campus’ waste hauling figures. Image credit: NOAA.

The workshop’s goal was to develop a NOS-wide Zero Waste Action Plan aimed at reducing waste and promoting sustainable practices both in day-to-day office activities and at events.

Building on successes from the Sixth International Marine Debris Conference and Marine Debris Program-led workshops, participants crafted an action plan that identifies priorities and actions for the upcoming year and encourages participation across NOS offices. To begin the workshop, NOS Acting Assistant Administrator, Nicole LeBoeuf, provided opening remarks and shared her support for reducing waste at NOS. Staff from the Marine Debris Program facilitated the day-long workshop, which included in-depth discussions and brainstorming sessions on methods to ‘walk-the-walk’ at the office. Workshop participants used sustainable items like reusable chalkboard name tags, travel coffee mugs, reusable water bottles, and digital note-taking spreadsheets.

Following the workshop, members of the Zero Waste Team visited the Montgomery County Recycling Center to learn more about solid waste management and local recycling efforts. The Team took a tour of the facilities and saw first-hand the complexities of recycling.

For more information, please contact Nancy.Wallace@noaa.gov.

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