Session Chair: Jason Rolfe, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Marine Debris Program

This session will focus on developing and implementing local, state, or regional action plans and session participants will learn about the planning and implementation process as well as remaining challenges.

Marine debris is a chronic and persistent problem around the world and we know that simply removing debris from the environment is not a long-term solution. In many coastal regions, marine debris action plans are a vital step to prevent and reduce marine debris. Action plans represent a compilation of recommended strategies and actions to prevent, research, and remove marine debris in a specific geography. Action plans are the culmination of collaborative efforts of federal and state agencies, tribes, local governments, non-governmental organizations, academia, and industry. The action plan development process brings together the entities working on marine debris to increase coordination and collaboration in executing on-going and future actions, and to help track progress over time.

Building off recommendations from the Honolulu Strategy, numerous action plans have been developed or are currently being developed around the globe. Despite all the effort to develop action plans, many challenges remain. Presentations in this session will highlight particularly successful goals and strategies to address priority marine debris issues including those that focus on derelict fishing gear and aquaculture debris, wildlife and habitat impacts, abandoned or derelict vessels, emergency response, and consumer debris.  Participants will hear about the successes and challenges in developing an action plan and will learn valuable information on how to develop and implement successful plans for their region.



Lessons-Learned from the Great Lakes Marine Debris Action Plan

presenting: Sarah Lowe (Freestone Environmental Services, United States); authors: Sarah Lowe (Freestone Environmental Services, United States)

Marine debris is any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes. Throughout the Great Lakes, marine debris threatens wildlife, natural resources, and the environment. Coordinated by NOAA and launched in 2014, the Great Lakes Land-based Marine Debris Action Plan is bringing science, government, industry and NGOs together in a regional partnership to clean up the Great Lakes. The plan’s five-year goal: to research the problem of marine debris, guide science-based policies and management decisions, and coordinate actions to prevent and reduce marine debris. The action plan consists of 53 actions which are to be completed within five years (2014-2019). Throughout the development and implementation of this regional plan, valuable lessons have been learned in regard to partner participation and process. Additionally, monitoring of progress within the plan is key to understanding success. Information will be shared which highlights the Great Lakes monitoring plan and maintaining participant engagement.


Leveraging the Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan to Advance Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Planning

presenting: Kim Hernandez (Maryland Department of Natural Resources, United States), Katie Register (Clean Virginia Waterways, United States), Virginia Witmer (Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, United States); authors: Kim Hernandez (Maryland Department of Natural Resources, United States), Kim Hernandez (Maryland Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake & Coastal Service), Laura McKay (Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program)

Starting in 2012, the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program undertook a participatory and collaborative planning process that culminated in the development of the Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan. The Plan – the first on the US east coast – charts a course to measurably reduce marine debris in Virginia’s coastal rivers, bays and Atlantic Ocean, focusing on specific actions that are politically, socially, and economically feasible. The Plan outlines the problem and provides a roadmap for Virginia’s nonprofit organizations, local governments, state agencies, regional partners, researchers, and industries to work together on sustained approaches to reducing the flow of plastics and other trash items into inland, coastal and ocean waters. This presentation will cover the early implementation of Virginia’s Plan, and how it has informed a concurrent regional ocean planning initiative.

In December 2016 the National Ocean Council certified the first ever Ocean Action Plan for the US Mid-Atlantic region – which includes waters offshore New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia – and is the result of years of historic collaboration among states, tribes, Federal agencies, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and marine stakeholders. One of the actions is to develop a regionally appropriate strategy to reduce marine debris. In early 2017 the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body Marine Debris Work Group kicked off this work by developing an inventory of existing marine debris reduction and prevention efforts in the region, and has since hosted workshops and sought grant funding to advance prevention projects. The ultimate goal is to expand on Virginia’s successes and lessons learned to build capacity across the region to address the problem of marine debris in the Atlantic Ocean.


Coordinating Action in Hawai‘i: Successes and Challenges from the Seven Years of the Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan

presenting: Mark Manuel (U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Marine Debris Program, United States); authors: Mark Manuel (U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Marine Debris Program, United States)

The Hawaiian Archipelago is one of the longest and most remote island chains in the world and are prone to significant accumulation of marine debris due to its proximity to the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone. Annually, thousands of pounds of marine debris from domestic and foreign sources impact the shorelines, coral reefs and wildlife across the island chain.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) has been combating marine debris in Hawai‘i since 2005 through cooperative partnerships across the US and international countries. In order to prioritize Hawai‘i marine debris issues, coordinate projects and create a strategic plan of action, the MDP partnered with the US Environmental Protection Agency to host the first planning workshop in January 2008. The workshop brought together over 30 representatives from government, academia, nongovernmental organizations and private sector to address the issue of marine debris in Hawai‘i. In 2010, the MDP hosted the official roll out and declaration signing of the first Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan (HI-MDAP) with over 70 elected officials and partners present. The structure and goals of the HI-MDAP align to those of the Honolulu Strategy, which allows the local marine debris community to strategically plan and track actions while contributing to a larger global strategy. The HI-MDAP was built by community involvement at all levels and is continually assessed every two years to ensure feasibility and applicability. Now in its 7th year the HI-MDAP has been updated in 2012 and 2014 with a complete transformation in 2016. This presentation will review the marine debris action planning process in Hawai‘i, suggest best practices, and share lessons learned.


From “Source to Sea”: Building governance and management framework for marine litter management in the Northwest Pacific region

presenting: Lev Neretin (Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) of the UN Environment, Japan); authors: Lev Neretin (Neretin, Japan)

Existing governance and management frameworks applied to environmental protection and sustainable development on land are often disconnected from those addressing impacts of these activities in the coastal and marine environment, thus undermining efforts to promote sustainability. The “source-to-sea” (S2S) conceptual framework provides a useful guidance to assess and design initiatives that work to achieve greater sustainability in the S2S continuum, including management of marine litter problem (Granit et al., 2017). S2S systems addressing key flows such as marine litter flows need governance arrangements that balance economic development objectives across sectors and are capable of coordinating and integrating across various management objectives. The presentation will showcase existing practices in governance and management of marine litter flows in the S2S continuum at various scales (sub-national, national and regional) using examples from the Northwest Pacific region (Japan, P.R. China, R. Korea, and the Russian Federation). The application of S2S framework provides useful conceptual framework for designing relevant policies and programs addressing marine litter as will be demonstrated using examples from the Northwest Pacific.


Tools and Strategies for Reducing and Managing Marine Debris in MPAs

presenting: Gabrielle Johnson (Marine Protected Areas Center- Office of National Marine Sanctuaries); authors: Gabrielle Johnson (Johnson, United States), Lauren Wenzel (Marine Protected Areas Center- Office of National Marine Sanctuaries), Anne Nelson (Marine Protected Areas Center- Office of National Marine Sanctuaries)

Marine debris is a universal concern and a common threat that coastal and marine resource managers are facing in addition to other threats. The International MPA Capacity Building Program provides practical tools and strategies to assist coastal and marine resource managers in engaging in effective management of marine protected areas. In many of the geographies where we work, marine debris has become one of the top threats facing managers. We will present an array of tools and strategies to assist coastal and marine resource managers in reduce and managing the effects of marine debris in their sites. In addition, we will include lessons learned from the field consisting of both successes and challenges.


Stocktaking of Regional Action Plans

presenting: Karen Raubenheimer (Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, Australia); authors: Karen Raubenheimer (Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Australia), Alistair McIlgorm (Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security)

Of the eighteen Regional Seas, seven have developed regional action plans specific to marine litter. One action plan is currently under review and an additional six regions are in the process of developing new marine litter action plans. An examination of the successes achieved as a result of measures adopted within current marine litter action plans, including the processes and information that contributed to their success, is therefore timely for those regions developing new or revising existing instruments.

Three regional action plans have been in place for a decade and four have been adopted since the development of the Honolulu Strategy in 2011. UN Environment, in conjunction with the University of Wollongong, Australia, is conducting a stocktake of the seven action plans in place. This assessment provides an opportunity to share experiences gained throughout the process of, inter alia, identifying priority issues, negotiating harmonized measures, overcoming implementation challenges, monitoring progress and reviewing overall effectiveness. Emerging issues and principles are reflected in more recent action plans and developments in these areas must be closely monitored and progressed in new action plans.

The information gathered will inform the development of a design guide to assist in the review or design of new marine litter action plans for the Regional Seas. The findings as at March 2018 will be presented for discussion.


Creating Marine Debris Action Plans in Oregon and Washington

presenting: Nir Barnea (NOAA, United States); authors: Nir Barnea (NOAA MDP, United States), Briana Goodwin (Oregon Surfriders), Kara Cardinal

Marine debris has been plaguing the Oregon and Washington coast and nearshore waters for many years. Over time, organizations in both states have done remarkable work to prevent and remove marine debris. Building on the collaborative Task Forces and partnerships created to address the Japan tsunami marine debris, and learning from other regions, marine debris partners in the region joined with the NOAA Marine Debris Program to create marine debris action plans, first in Oregon and later in Washington State.

In both states, the partners’ interest was first assessed, and the response was an enthusiastic yes. Local action plan coordinators were hired to facilitate the involved effort, and planning teams were established to advise and enrich the process. The teams formulated an inclusive invitation list of marine debris partners from agencies, Tribes, NGOs, academia, and industry, and a survey was sent out to the partners requesting input on existing projects they are involved with, as well as marine debris priorities for the region. A first workshop was then conducted to discuss the goals and strategies of the action plan, and using the survey results as guidance, list future actions the partners would like to execute.

Following the first workshop, an interim marine debris action plan was drafted and circulated for review. Using the draft as a basis, a second workshop was conducted to finalize the action plan, agree on plan terms – including duration, update cycles, and communication – and, most importantly, sign up leads and partners to execute the actions. This presentation will review the marine debris action planning process in Oregon and Washington, suggest best practices, and share lessons learned.


Marine Plastic Debris Management Program in Indonesia

presenting: Safri Burhanuddin (Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Indonesia); authors: Safri Burhanuddin (Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Indonesia), Nani Hendiarti (Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia), Andreas Hutahaean (Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia), M. Saleh Nugrahadi (Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia), Ridha Yasser (Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia)

Marine plastic debris is a global problem that also poses a threat to Indonesia’s rich marine ecosystems, navigational safety, even to human health and the economy. As it pollutes the environment and causes hazard to many levels of marine life, the health of the ocean in general suffers. Due to a large number of population lives along the coastlines, and the lack of proper waste management, Indonesia is perceived to be one of the most probable to leak a large quantity of plastic debris into the ocean. Surveys in 15 different cities across the country and research on plastics consumed by fish shows that plastics in our water is hazardous to our wellbeing. Government of Indonesia is committed to clean up its water. During the G20 Summit in Humburg, President Joko Widodo has announced a target to reduce marine plastic waste as much as 70% by 2025, and has pledged $1 Billion to support the cause. Meanwhile, the National Plan of Action (NPOA) launched during the UN Ocean Conference in June 2017, has taken off to a good start. The NPOA is combatting marine plastic wastes through promoting behavioral change, reducing both land-based and sea-based leakages, as well as reducing plastic production and use. Measures are taken starting at an early stage, as early as inclusion of clean and healthy oceans in school curricula, all the way to reinforcing R&D’s to better equip policy reforms and law enforcement towards the ambitious target for clean ocean by 2025. Clean up actions as well as public education and campaign has gradually shape up coastal environment, while marine plastic waste for road asphalt mix also helps bring up hope that the bolt target is within reach. This presentation provides an overview of the NPOA and its progress, in support of the sustainable marine ecosystem through better-managed plastic wastes.


The California Ocean Litter Prevention Strategy: Addressing Marine Debris from Source to Sea

presenting: Holly Wyer (California Ocean Protection Council, United States); authors: Holly Wyer (California Ocean Protection Council, United States)

The California Ocean Litter Strategy: Addressing Marine Debris from Source to Sea was developed through a collaborative process that is similar to other state and regional Marine Debris Action Plans in the United States. The new California Ocean Litter Strategy was developed through a partnership between the state and federal government, and is an update and expansion of the 2008 document “An Implementation Strategy for the California Ocean Protection Council to Reduce and Prevent Ocean Litter.” This presentation will discuss the opportunities and challenges in developing an updated Strategy/Action Plan in California, lessons learned and success stories from the progress made on the first Implementation Strategy, and the priorities of the new California Ocean Litter Strategy.


The Implementation of the UN Environment/MAP Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean: Status, Work Plan and Further Steps

presenting: Francois Galgani (Ifremer, and chair of EC/GES tech group Marine Litter); authors: Christos Ioakeimidis (UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan, Greece), Tatjana Hema (UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan), Gaetano Leone (UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan), Jelena Knezevic (UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan)

The UN Environment/ MAP Barcelona Convention was the first Regional Sea Programme to approve a legally-binding Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management (RPML) in December 2013, providing for a set of programmes of measures and implementation timetables to prevent and reduce the adverse effects of marine litter on the marine and coastal environment. It includes innovative and traditional measures of a policy, regulatory and technical nature, addressing different aspects of marine litter prevention and management from land and sea based sources. The Regional Plan measures impose clear obligations regarding the waste management hierarchy, closure of illegal dumping/dumpsites, shift to sustainable consumption and production patterns, removal of existing marine litter using environmental sound practices e.g. fishing for litter, clean up campaigns, port reception facilities at possibly no special fees, and monitoring, assessment and reporting on implementation of measures as well as enforcement of national legislation.

UN Environment/MAP and its MED POL programme is implementing the EU-funded Marine Litter MED project to support Southern Mediterranean countries to implement key common measures provided for in the RPML. The main focus of the project is to: a) enhancing the implementation of selected ML policy/regulatory prevention and reduction common measures at sub-regional/national levels and sharing of related best practices; b) develop and apply regionally harmonized approaches, guidelines and tools to ensure effective implementation of selected measures; c) establishing regional coordination mechanisms for marine litter prevention and management in the Mediterranean; and d) establish regional coordination mechanisms for marine litter with other regional actors and European Regional Seas Conventions.


Development and Implementation of the Florida Marine Debris Reduction Guidance Plan (FMDRGP)

presenting: Ann Lazar (Florida Department of Environmental Protection, United States); authors: Jennifer McGee (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, United States), Ann Lazar (Florida Department of Environmental Protection), Kent Smith (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), Tom Matthews (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), Phil Horning (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), Savanna Christy (Florida Department of Environmental Protection), Charles Grisafi (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association), Sarah Latshaw (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association), Jason Rolfe (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association), Leonardo Mata (CCMAR-Centre for Marine Sciences)

The FMDRGP is the result of a 4 year collaborative planning process involving over 100 experts from 14 governmental agencies/organizations and 14 non-governmental organizations throughout Florida, facilitated by NOAA’s-Marine Debris Program. This effort stemmed from a need for a comprehensive statewide Plan that identified priority marine debris issues addressing both everyday marine debris, orphan and emergency debris, and debris generated by severe weather. The purpose of the FMDRGP is to serve as a guidance document, or central point of reference for improved collaboration and coordination, to avoid duplication and optimize the efficiency and efficacy of marine debris reduction efforts. The document is not intended to be regulatory or specifically binding in nature, but rather serve as a living document that can be updated based on successes and challenges in tackling marine debris issues. The objectives and strategies identified in the Plan are the product of the goals established by each of the 5 FMDRGP work groups focusing on the following: Consumer Debris, Emergency Debris, Abandoned and Derelict Vessels, Derelict Fishing Gear, and Wildlife and Habitat Impacts. Currently, and continuing with the collaborative theme of this Plan, representatives from the 3 lead agencies (NOAA, FDEP, and FWC) are working with the 5 work groups to coordinate and facilitate implementation of the identified strategies. This presentation will focus on the importance of collaborations in tackling such a widespread and complex issue such as marine debris, and the status of implementation efforts such as those involving abandoned and derelict vessel removal and other post storm emergency response activities, a task that has been increasingly important as demonstrated by Florida’s 2016-2017 hurricane seasons.


Emergency Response to Marine Debris: Regional Response Planning

presenting: Jessica Conway (NOAA, ); authors: Jessica Conway (NOAA, United States)

In recent years, the intensity of natural disasters is on the rise. Hurricanes and tropical storms, tsunamis, and landslides can be an overwhelming source of marine debris because high winds, storm surges, and heavy rains drag large amounts of land based debris into surrounding waterways. This debris can be a hazard to navigation, damage habitat, and pose a pollution threat.

To mitigate these impacts, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has been facilitating response planning efforts in U.S. coastal states since 2014. Through a collaborative process with local, state, and federal agencies and organizations, response guidance documents are being developed with the goal of improving preparedness and facilitating a coordinated, well-managed, and immediate response to emergency marine debris incidents. This effort works to outline existing response structures at the local, state, and federal levels, capturing all relevant responsibilities and existing procedures into individual state guidance documents for easy reference.