Victory | April 10 2017
After years of statewide heightened awareness and activity on marine debris issues from extensive volunteer cleanup efforts to marine debris policy advocacy such as bag and microbead bans and plastic reduction initiatives, Oregon is working in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program to develop the first ever statewide action plan on marine debris. This comes as good news to Surfrider Chapters throughout the state who have worked tirelessly on this issue for years, positioning themselves as leaders in volunteer cleanup efforts, data collection, rapid response cleanup protocols and advocacy for marine debris reduction policies at the local, state and national level.
VICTORY! Our goal over this multi-year process has been to work strategically to prioritize plastic pollution strategies and actions within the marine debris plan, linking our work on the ground to plastic reduction strategies at the consumer and policy level. Beyond demonstrating strong debris data and volunteer efforts to help inform the planning, our chapters and staff played a lead role with Oregon's Ocean Policy Advisory Council engaging in the statewide effort and informing the Governor's office on key policy strategies that should be incorporated into the plan. We're proud of the coordination efforts we put into this process and the outcomes of the final plan, now approved and posted on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Debris Program website here.
Surfrider Foundation is recognized as a lead organization for many of the plan's actions and future strategies, particularly within future policy actions. The plan includes strategies such as Surfrider's current legislative efforts to establish an Ocean Beach Fund and additionally lists Surfrider as the lead organization to support plastic reduction policy strategies. At the ground level the plan points towards our many Surfrider chapter programmatic efforts in Oregon, such as our Hold on To Your Butts Program and our Rapid Response Cleanup efforts. From working with NOAA in planning workshops to presenting to the State Land Board, Governor's office and leading Ocean Policy Advisory Council's engagement, our chapters and staff in Oregon have made an immeasurable difference in Oregon's prioritization of marine debris and plastic pollution as an ocean issue through this statewide planning effort. California is just getting this process underway for their state and surely our efforts in Oregon will help pave the way for our engagement their and other states marine debris planning efforts.
Rise Above Plastics is designed to eliminate the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.Learn More