North Carolina Sea Grant

August 23, 2017 | Gloria Putnam

Note: The N.C. Marine Debris Symposium has been rescheduled to Oct. 16 and 17.

If you are working on marine debris issues along the North Carolina coast, we want to hear about it!

Please take this online survey for marine debris stakeholders in coastal North Carolina by Sept. 5, 2017. You will need about 5 to 10 minutes to complete it. Find it at

Your answers will help determine who is doing what, and identify potential actions and partners for this issue. In 2018, a stakeholder group will use the responses to develop a marine debris reduction strategy that will complement the 2016 North Carolina Incident Waterway Debris Response Guide.

Marine debris collected during January 2015 cleanup on Roanoke Island. Photo by Sara Mirabilio.

My partners and I are looking for feedback from people who are affiliated with organizations involved in the following marine debris activities in coastal North Carolina:

The survey was developed through a partnership among the N.C. Coastal Federation, North Carolina Sea Grant, Keep Onslow Beautiful, and the N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve.

The preliminary survey results and suggestions for future steps will be discussed at the fifth annual North Carolina Marine Debris Symposium at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort on Oct. 16 and 17.

The symposium brings together state organizations, nonprofits, researchers, citizen scientists and students to collaborate on addressing the pollution that affects our state and region. Speakers will cover topics including recycling, plastic pollution, marine debris removal, research and education.

Lisa Rider, Onslow County Solid Waste & Landfill deputy director, notes that collaboration is important to the mission of the symposium. The event is designed to bring various groups together to “share resources, share data, develop best management practices and educational material,” she explains in a news release.

“The North Carolina Marine Debris Symposium was an effort to consolidate and collaborate to reach a common goal,” Rider says. “It has become a venue for multifaceted collaboration in the coastal community. It works to involve everyone, no matter their age, job or knowledge of marine debris, as a stakeholder.”

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