11:00 AM – 11:30 AM Alaska Marine Debris – Information, Efforts, and Opportunities
Location – Best Western Kodiak Inn, Harbor Room & Online
View Online – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88960385186
Presenters – Peter Murphy, Alaska Regional Coordinator, NOAA Marine Debris Program & Andy Schroder, Island Trails Network + Ocean Plastic
Peter Murphy serves as the Alaska Regional Coordinator for the Marine Debris Program. In 2009 Peter started as the MDP’s first Alaska Regional Coordinator. Since taking on this role, Peter has supported and participated in multiple field projects across the State of Alaska, including derelict vessel removal in the Pribilof Islands, sonar surveys in Southeast Alaska, and cleanups in many different parts of the state – learning first-hand the specific challenges and opportunities of addressing marine debris in the unique and diverse environments of Alaska.
Andy has dedicated his career to marine conservation. Originally from the Little Miami watershed of Ohio, he earned a B.S. from Coast Guard Academy (’00) and served two tours in Kodiak, Alaska. In 2006 he founded Island Trails Network and spearheaded a marine debris program that now claims about 17 different clean-up efforts across the Kodiak archipelago. In 2019 he co-founded the Ocean Plastics Recovery Project to scale up marine debris removal efforts beyond Kodiak, and to develop recycling pathways for ocean plastics. A career mariner, he holds a 200-ton Master’s license and co-owns and operates the research vessels Steadfast and Island C.
Marine debris is an issue that is present across the global ocean and includes items large and small that cause a wide range of impacts to the ecosystem and the important subsistence and commercial activities it supports. Across Alaska, there is an active, dedicated, and collaborative marine debris community working to address and prevent marine debris impacts. The community includes groups and individuals across government agencies, industry, native and tribal organizations, community organizations, and many others, all working from their expertise and capability to find solutions. Projects use diverse and innovative methods but all have the common goal of understanding, removing, and preventing debris and the impacts it has on the environment. This can be through cleaning debris from shorelines, research to better understand debris presence and impacts, outreach to prevent more debris from entering the ocean, or responding to specific debris events. The NOAA talk will provide an orientation to the unique aspects of marine debris in Alaska, the innovative work being done by groups across the state to address it, and look forward to opportunities and next steps.
In addition, field schedule allowing, Andy Schroeder will also provide updates, insights, and observations from his extensive and ongoing work on marine debris removal, disposal, and prevention, as well as his thoughts for future actions and priorities.