National Academies Press: OpenBook

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea (1995)

Chapter: Pilot Programs by Community and Environmental Groups

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Suggested Citation:"Pilot Programs by Community and Environmental Groups." 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.
Page 26

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DIMENSIONS OF THE CHALLENGE AND U.S. PROGRESS 26 assistance to the federal enforcement program, and that these inspectors pursued violators under existing state laws (Mauro, 1993). In addition, Texas has sponsored the two most extensive surveys of port reception facilities (Hollin and Liffman, 1991, 1993) and is working to further the preparations needed to bring special area status into force for the Wider Caribbean. Initiatives on the Pacific Coast have stressed education. The Marine Plastic Debris Action Plan for Washington State (Marine Plastic Debris Task Force, 1988; Rose, 1990) identified the types of vessels most common in nearby waters and focused on opportunities for intervening to halt illegal overboard discharges. In addition, noting that prevailing currents would concentrate debris off the Washington coast, the plan focused on education of marine communities, including recreational boaters. Marinas and boaters were targeted in a dedicated program, an unusual undertaking at the time. The California Marine Debris Action Plan (Kauffman et al., 1990) is the result of a large volunteer effort to establish a continuing program to reduce marine debris. Although federal and state governments participated, responsibility for many of the follow-up activities remains with private and citizen organizations. The plan relies heavily on education to change the habits of marine users. Pilot Programs by Community and Environmental Groups Abundant evidence demonstrates the benefits of citizen participation and other private involvement in implementation of Annex V. Community and environmental groups have been highly successful in focusing public attention on marine debris, articulating prevention methods, and convincing citizens to assume responsibility for addressing the problem. Numerous ideas have been tested by these groups, and some of their insights and perspectives have been integrated into government programs. One popular concept is organized beach cleanups, which not only have cleared unsightly debris, but also have helped document the scope of the problem. The annual CMC beach cleanup began as a project in one state funded by a private contribution. The event quickly grew to international proportions, gaining the support of NOAA, EPA, and the Navy and bringing hundreds of thousands of volunteers to beaches on a regular basis. Considerable experience also has been acquired in port and marina settings, albeit often in local or short-term projects that ended when initial funding was exhausted. The Coastal Resources Center produced guidelines on how to start a marina recycling program (Kauffman, 1992) and carried out a recycling project at Half Moon Bay, California, that is being duplicated in San Francisco. Such grassroots efforts are an essential means of reaching recreational boaters. A fishermen's initiative in Oregon, described by Recht (1988), illustrates the effectiveness of integrating vessel and shore garbage disposal. Fishermen using the Port of Newport began a net recycling program in the late 1980s. Initially

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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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