Taking out the trash that litters and degrades the North Carolina coast is the goal of a new action plan developed by a diverse group of partners. The North Carolina Marine Debris Action Plan includes several tangible steps that need to be taken over the next five years to both prevent and remove marine debris along the coast. The plan was developed by the North Carolina Coastal Federation, N.C. Coastal Reserve, N.C. Division of Coastal Management, N.C. Sea Grant, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Coastal Carolina Riverwatch, and the N.C. Marine Debris Symposium. An evaluation of past and current attempts to reduce marine debris on North Carolina’s coast, as well as stakeholder input provided during workshops, professional meetings, and online surveys, were used to develop the plan.
The plan is being used by a leadership group that will implement the actions listed in the plan. This includes working to obtain better construction practices to reduce marine debris caused by storms and flooding, expanding volunteer cleanups, dedicating funding to hire contractors to clean up our public waterways and lands on an annual basis, preventing and removing abandoned vessels, and conducting strategic research and monitoring to evaluate progress in reducing debris over time. The plan also calls for the development of a new public awareness and education strategy that will use existing resources to target key audiences that can help reduce marine debris within N.C.
The plan was first presented to the public at the N.C. Marine Debris Symposium in Beaufort in early 2020. The Action Plan is complementary to the Southeast Regional Marine Debris Plan, coordinated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program.
To ensure the maximum utility of the Action Plan for a diverse array of stakeholders, the detailed Action Plan roadmap was consolidated into a strategic plan with priority objectives found here: nccoast.org/strategicplan
- N.C. Marine Debris Assessment
- Debris Free NC: This Facebook page is “the single resource for information about the impacts of marine debris and efforts to minimize debris in NC.” The group posts upcoming events related to marine debris, so check back often!
- Working together on marine debris reduction strategies
- Federation staff present at Marine Debris Symposium
- Groups try new strategy on debris problem, Coastal Review Online, March 2018
- Marine debris program inspires students, Coastal Review Online, May 2018
For more information on the N.C. Marine Debris Action Plan please contact Sara Hallas at 252-473-1607 or firstname.lastname@example.org.