Wednesday, July 26, 2017

NOAA: Marine Debris Can Be Prevented

The director of NOAA’s marine debris program, Nancy Wallace, says that all marine debris comes from humans and thus, for the most part, can be prevented.

Wallace was one of three people testifying on July 25 before the Senate subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, which was exploring solutions to marine debris. She advised that NOAA’s marine debris program is focused around five pillars: research, removal, prevention, emergency response and regional coordination. While the problem of marine debris has existed for decades and has received considerable attention from NOAA and other partners, there is still much to learn in addressing the impacts of marine debris on the environment, marine species and human health and safety, she told the subcommittee.

Because marine debris is a global problem, NOAA works closely with the State Department and participates in other international efforts related to marine debris, she added. NOAA is also working with the UN Environmental Programme to help organize and facilitate the 6th International Marine Debris Conference in San Diego, California, March 12-16, 2018.

Complete hearing testimony is online at

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