From the GOMA August Newsletter:
Gulf of Mexico Alliance Action Plan III will tackle this messy problem.
Large scale marine debris is often an issue that plagues many coastal communities. Without the resources to address them, environmental and navigation hazards often persist for years. Even when assistance is available, it may not be enough or items may be inadvertently overlooked. With coordinated efforts, success stories can happen.
On July 26, 2015, a large sunken petroleum tank was removed from the Breton Sound Marina Channel in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. It had lingered there as a result of Hurricane Katrina. A partnership of coordinated state, federal, and local response got the job done. NOAA and Louisiana CCA pushed the right buttons to engage Governors Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, FEMA, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources, USCG, USGS, and USACE to work with contractor Cuvilloin Group to remove the debris. This one success story was nearly ten years in the making. Many similar situations still linger across the coast without resolution.
Natural disasters are not the only source of marine debris or aquatic trash. Some 80% is derived from land base garbage problems due to negligence and neglect. The Alliance has developed a new cross-team initiative to address this growing problem. Pulling interested parties and actions from all the Teams, the marine debris cross-team initiative will focus on key actions that address research, removal, and proactive measures for prevention of these unwanted materials.
Helping to lead the initiative is NOAA's regional Marine Debris Program and EPA's Trash Free Waters Program. Both federal organizations have well-developed plans and resources in place. To get involved with this initiative, contact the Alliance for more information.