December 8, 2009
Stemming the Flow of Marine Debris
Dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the North Pacific subtropical gyre has become an at-sea trash pile thought to be more than double the size of Texas. In some areas, plastic debris outweighs zooplankton six to one. Concerns about how such marine debris may be impacting marine ecosystems has led to expanding efforts to minimize the entry of debris, especially plastic debris, into the marine environment. Marine debris enters the ocean through both land- and ocean-based pathways, and as it accumulates and degrades in open waters and along coastal shores it can cause numerous environmental, economic, and human health problems. In addition to endangering marine life and altering water quality, marine debris can affect tourism by degrading beach aesthetics, fishing by placing additional stress on stocks, and marine transportation by colliding or becoming entangled with vessels. Several entities have taken action to address the vast quantities of marine debris that litter coastal areas, through efforts such as the International Coastal Cleanup. In 2006 Congress enacted the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act, which established a program within NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard to research and reduce marine debris and its adverse impacts.
Dianne Sherman, Director, International Coastal Cleanup, The Ocean Conservancy
Holly Bamford, Program Director and Division Chief, Marine Debris Program, NOAA Office of Response and Restoration
April H. Crow, Global Sustainable Packaging Manager, Coca-Cola Company
David Major, Environmental Protection Specialist, Commercial Regulations and Standards Directorate (Environmental Standards Division), U.S. Coast Guard
Jordan Diamond, Staff Attorney, Environmental Law Institute
Dianne Sherman, PowerPoint
Holly Bamford, PowerPoint
April H. Crow, PowerPoint
mp3 recording of the seminar
Summary of Event
Attendees are invited to bring a brown-bag lunch.
Click here for more information on ELI’s Ocean Series
The 2009 Ocean Seminar Series is made possible by generous support from the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation