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Suggested Citation:"THE CHALLENGES AHEAD." 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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Page 28

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DIMENSIONS OF THE CHALLENGE AND U.S. PROGRESS 28 that draws heavily on the local expertise of community-based organizations and industries. Programs include educational campaigns and recycling awareness programs. Each decision typically involves the deliberations of most groups that would be concerned about the topic, so the resulting action plan reflects at least some of their needs and objectives. This approach requires a capability to sustain intense participation across a number of organizations that have not interacted previously; success is determined in part by the personal characteristics and skills of the individuals involved. Although the cooperative decision-making approach is time intensive and demanding, the process has yielded some distinctive results. The program produced the first regional Marine Debris Action Plan (Gulf of Mexico Program, 1991) and provides a forum for sharing the results of local efforts through regional meetings and professional papers. This record demonstrates the utility of a consensus-building approach across several jurisdictions and communities. The consensus-based, open format approach has helped to advance the working-level implementation of Annex V. THE CHALLENGES AHEAD The level of independent activity under way to support implementation of Annex V is a positive sign. Clearly this environmental goal has supporters, both within and outside government. However, the many isolated initiatives and current levels of effort do not add up to full compliance, or even a national strategy that will lead to full compliance. Efforts to improve compliance already are under way at the international level through IMO, which serves as the forum for formally amending MARPOL 73/78 and also offers technical services to help nations overcome obstacles and track compliance. Through its committees, IMO has launched efforts to promote Annex V compliance by further clarifying procedures for port state enforcement with regard to control of pollution from vessels, and to examine the vessel/port interface (including port reception facilities). The challenge now for the United States is to identify, recruit, organize, integrate, and manage the various elements and resources already in existence that can provide the foundation for a national implementation program. The underpinning of such a program has to be "nuts and bolts" advice of individuals already engaged in the effort, whether at work on the waterfront, volunteering for citizen groups, or holding desk jobs in government. Their observations and experience provide the best evidence on strategies that work, and it is on their shoulders that the ultimate burden for implementation falls. Wide exchange of information about strategies proven to be successful, as well as additional research on and development of promising concepts, clearly could be helpful in implementing Annex V. In addition, common sense suggests that compliance practices ought to be integrated thoroughly into normal vessel and port operations; they

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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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