The action plan itself is the result of a collaborative effort between NOAA’s Marine Debris Program (MDP) and Oregon partners, including representatives from governments, tribes, non-profits, academia, and the private sector beginning back in 2016. Surfrider Foundation played a significant leadership role in developing the Ocean Policy Advisory Council’s prioritization of this process starting back in 2015. Through a series of workshops in 2017, the Oregon marine debris community finalized the Action Plan to facilitate more collaborative reduction of marine debris in the state and align Oregon with greater federal support from NOAA’s MDP – who supported and facilitated the process.
In the two years since, we have made remarkable progress in Oregon on many of the actions listed in the Action Plan, including: Development of marine debris research priorities for Oregon – many already in process and supporting graduate research, the execution of a statewide awareness day recognized by the Governor’s office, a statewide marine debris educator’s forum, the mapping of derelict vessels/debris on inland waterways, full implementation of rules for the Submerged Land Enhancement fund (to support removal projects) and the removal of several priority vessels. These are just a few of the actions from the first two years that have advanced within Oregon’s Marine Debris Action plan.
To keep the six-year plan current, partners convened for a workshop in March 2019 to discuss achievements, lessons learned and to review and, if needed, modify ongoing actions and identified future actions. In this fashion, “the Action Plan itself is really a living and breathing document for coordinating marine debris removal in Oregon,” says Nir Barnea, the MDP’s Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator. The 2019 updated Action Plan summarized the input and insight of workshop participants, as well as the contribution of other partners. The plan, and related documents from Oregon’s process such as research priorities and workshop proceedings can be found on the Oregon Marine Debris Action Plan website within NOAA MDP.
For more information on NOAA’s MDP or the Oregon’s Marine Debris Action Plan, contact Nir Barnea, the MDP’s Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator who played a significant leadership role for NOAA in Oregon and other Pacific states’ marine debris state plans.