Marine debris is a global problem. It is not only a pervasive threat to our ocean, Great Lakes, and waterways, but can affect navigation safety, the economy, and potentially human safety and health.
In 2006, Congress authorized the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program as the U.S. Federal government’s lead for addressing marine debris. The Program achieves its mission through five main pillars: Removal, Prevention, Research, Regional Coordination, and Emergency Response. Marine Debris Program staff is positioned across the country in order to support projects and partnerships with state and local agencies, tribes, non-governmental organizations, academia, and industry.
Sea Education Association’s Trash Shouldn’t Splash project was supported by a 2016 prevention grant from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, which supports projects that use outreach and education to inspire people to reduce, prevent, and change behaviors related to marine debris. The Trash Shouldn't Splash initiative is helping to fulfill the following actions of the Gulf of Maine Marine Debris Action Plan's Consumer Debris Working Group:
2.3: 1. Partner with restaurant and innkeeper associations to increase awareness.
2.3: 5. Identify barriers to plastic-free choices.
2.3: 6. Support and promote innovative strategies and products focused on the reduction of single-use plastics.
Organizers are working with state agencies, local municipalities, non-profits, and universities to expand Trash Shouldn't Splash from Falmouth to the entire Northeast Region.