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Suggested Citation:"Public Awareness Programs." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
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EDUCATION AND TRAINING 181 The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc., has worked cooperatively with CMC, EPA, and NOAA to plan and fund the Clean Ocean Campaign. This public service effort targeted five separate audiences (commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, the maritime industry, recreational boaters, and the plastics industry). The campaign included full-page advertisements, brochures, posters, buttons, television announcements, and development of a citizen's guide to plastic marine debris (O'Hara et al., 1988). Programs Involving Government Fleets and Personnel The Navy has carried out a number of educational efforts (which have not proven adaptable to applications outside the military). Indeed, the Navy has been relying on education to change shipboard practices until on-board garbage treatment technologies can be upgraded. Practices for handling plastics (see Chapter 1) were instituted with a fleetwide education program. The plastics education package sent to all Navy ships includes posters, a videotape, and a guide that addresses the problems caused by plastics in the marine environment, pertinent Navy requirements, essential elements of a successful shipboard program, and a list of plastic and substitute non-plastic items (Koss et al., 1990; Koss, 1994). The sailors have understood rapidly both the new controls and the reasons for them. Several training programs have been developed by public agencies. For example, the EPA developed a training session on enforcement and implementation of marine protection laws, including MARPOL, for participants from various federal agencies. The Coast Guard is pursuing a "train the trainers" strategy to show members of its auxiliary how to reach out into their communities to train others in maritime debris management approaches. Public Awareness Programs The Center for Marine Conservation has become the dominant national environmental advocacy organization working to reduce marine debris and implement Annex V.2 The CMC takes a broad educational perspective in addressing marine debris and Annex V, but the most visible efforts are beach cleanups. The CMC initiated and maintains the annual International Beach Cleanup Program (now supported by several federal agencies) and works to improve statistics on debris. The CMC concentrates on cooperative educational approaches, such as its citizen pollution patrols (efforts to inform boaters about regulations and how to 2 Established in 1972, the CMC is a national, non-profit organization funded by foundations, corporations, members, and government grants. It runs five large programs addressing species recovery, marine protected areas, biodiversity, fisheries management, and pollution prevention. Programs involve research, policy, and education projects.

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Marine debris is a serious environmental problem. To do its part, the United States has agreed to abide by the international treaty for garbage control at sea, known as MARPOL 73/78 Annex V.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans explores the challenge of translating Annex V into workable laws and regulations for all kinds of ships and boats, from cruise ships to fishing crafts and recreational boats. The volume examines how existing resources can be leveraged into a comprehensive strategy for compliance, including integrated waste management systems and effective enforcement.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans describes both progress toward and obstacles to Annex V compliance. The book covers:

  • How shipborne garbage orignates and what happens to garbage discharged into the seas.
  • Effects of discharge on human health, wildlife safety, and aesthetics.
  • Differences in perspective among military, industrial, and recreational seafarers and shoreside facilities.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans will be important to marine policymakers, port administrators, ship operations officers, maritime engineers, and marine ecologists.

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