Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan

  Download the
"Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan: Summary & Look Ahead."
March 2016. 20 pages. 17+ MB.


Download the full document:
"Developing a Marine Debris Reduction Plan for Virginia"
October 2014. 57 pages; 2 MB

Appendices, October 2014. 53 pages; 2 MB

Bay Journal article discussing the Plan


If you require higher resolution versions, please contact Katie Register at 434-395-2602

Virginia has a plan to reduce marine debris
For decades, Virginians have worked to decrease litter and marine debris through prevention (behavioral changes, increased recycling, and promotion of the correct disposal of solid waste) as well as removal of litter through cleanup efforts. Local coordinators, government agencies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and associations working on these issues provide Virginia with a strong network. Now, Virginia has a plan to better coordinate these efforts. The plan charts a course for Virginia to reduce the amount of trash and marine debris from land-based and water-based sources in Virginia through prevention, interception, innovation, and removal for ecological, social, and economic benefits.

The plan identifies actions Virginia may undertake to measurably reduce marine debris in Mid-Atlantic coastal waters, with a focus on specific actions that are politically, socially and economically feasible for Virginia to accomplish in the near-term (two years), mid-term (two to five years) and long-term (up to 10 years).

Overview of the Goals and Strategies

The Goals of the Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan fall into five broad categories:

Strategies describe how success will be achieved:

The Need for a Plan:
The Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan was developed as part of the Virginia Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program's Ocean Resources Management Strategy. The strategy called for an analysis of key marine debris issues, prioritization of these issues, and development of a plan to address the high priority issues. Under a grant from the Virginia CZM Program, the Plan was developed by Clean Virginia Waterways of Longwood University working with many partners. Visit the Virginia CZM Program’s Marine Debris webpage to learn more about the program’s efforts to reduce marine debris.

Who Worked on the Plan:
The Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan was developed through a Virginia CZM grant to Clean Virginia Waterways at Longwood University (CVW). CVW worked with a team of partners and a Leadership Team to gather input from stakeholders and develop the plan.

First Step to the Plan: The Virginia Marine Debris Summit
In February 2013, the Virginia CZM Program partnered with the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center to host the Virginia Marine Debris Summit, the first step towards formulation of a Virginia Marine Reduction Management Plan. This summit engaged professionals from federal, state and local governments, nonprofits, community groups, industry, and academia who work to prevent and mitigate the litter and waste that degrades our coastal and ocean waters. Together Summit attendees identified and reviewed the sources and impacts of marine debris in Virginia, and then identified possible solutions for each type of marine debris. These proposed solutions included new ways to educate people and change their behavior, motivate them through new incentives, and to innovate products and technology that help the marine environment.

Presentations given during the Summit can be viewed here.

Other Marine Debris Plans

Other Marine Debris Research & Reports
Marine Debris Location and Removal Project (Center for Coastal Resources Management at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Debris web site

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Marine Debris web site