Associated Events

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Coming early or staying a bit after the conference? Just visiting or live on the island? Check out the other events going on during the month of March on Oahu, Hawai‘i.


Seeking Global and Regional Solutions to Marine Debris Problem

Wednesday, March 23, 8:30am-1:30pm – Hosted by: The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility (STAP-GEF). A proposed half day side event aims to elaborate the discussion on marine debris by focusing on a number of critical issues related to global and regional responses to marine debris in the coastal and open ocean areas or areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). This event is open only to registered conference participants and will be held in a conference room at the conference hotel. This discussion should contribute to the development of the Honolulu Strategy “A Global Strategy for Prevention, Reduction, and Management of Marine Debris” proposed as one of the conference outcomes. This side event aims to build on the scientific expertise present at the conference while also bringing together representatives of intergovernmental organizations, small island states, scientists, policy makers from MEAs, civil society and the business community. For more information, please download the event description here or contact Dr. Lev Neretin at

Marine Debris March — Speaker Series at Hanauma Bay

Thursday evenings @ 6:30pm throughout the month of March – The University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant Hanauma Bay Education Program, in coordination with the NOAA Marine Debris Program, continues its public outreach series at the City and County of Honolulu’s Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Marine debris will be the “hot topic” for these evening lectures throughout the month of March. As always, these events begin at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday evening in the theatre at the Hanauma Bay Education Center. Events are free and open to the public, with no charge for parking after 5:30 p.m.  Doors to the room are kept open – possible light sweater and bug spray recommended. We hope to see you on Thursday evening!  These programs are supported and funded by the City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information on UH Sea Grant Hanauma Bay Education Program events and activities, navigate to the “Calendar of Events” located at


Thursday, March 3
Marine Debris in Hawai‘i
By: Kris McElwee, Pacific Islands Regional Coordinator, NOAA Marine Debris Program
In Hawaii, the effects of marine debris can be seen from the beaches at South Point to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Marine debris affects the beauty of our environment, is a safety and navigational hazard, and threatens many of our marine species. To protect marine habitat and wildlife here in Hawai‘i, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), together with state and county agencies, private businesses, non-profit organizations and community groups have launched several large-scale projects to help fight the problem of marine debris and help protect our marine environment.

Thursday, March 10
Bag It (The Movie)
By: N/A
65 min. – BAG IT
A self-described “average guy,” Jeb Berrier notices that plastic bags are piling up in his house. So he embarks on a personal quest to figure out where they come from, why they’re so ubiquitous and where they end up after they’re thrown away. With a humorous tone, Suzan Beraza’s documentary also explores our society’s dependence on other single-use plastic items such as wrappers, food containers and bottles — and what alternatives may exist.

Thursday, March 17
Waves of Change: Global lessons to inspire local action
By: Sarah Morison, Deputy Director, NOAA Marine Debris Program
Marine debris is truly a global issue, not simply in geographic range, but also in the breadth of methods to address it. This multi-faceted problem requires a range of locally relevant solutions and people in organizations, agencies, community groups, industry, businesses, and academia around the world working to solve it. The Fifth International Marine Debris Conference will bring these people together to share information and learn from one another so that together we can move forward towards solving the problem of marine debris. This conference is being organized and planned to truly facilitate the “Waves of Change” as its theme describes, building on past conferences and efforts as well as increased momentum and interest in marine debris around the world.

Thursday, March 24
GhostNets Australia
By: Grace Heathcote, Carpentaria Ghost Net Programme
Ghost nets drift with the currents and tides for many years, continuing to catch and kill turtles, dolphins, dugong, sharks, fish and other marine wildlife. Since being established in 2004, GhostNets Australia (GNA) has achieved the removal of over 7,000 ghost nets of varying sizes from approximately 1500km of coastline. This has resulted in the recovery of a proportion of the trapped wildlife, particularly marine turtles, and the prevention of the ghost nets from returning to the sea. This presentation will give an overview of the extent of the ghost net problem in northern Australia and the work being carried out by GNA and indigenous rangers to combat it. Difficulties facing the program and the aims that GNA holds for the future will be outlined.
Picking up the Pieces – aka Hawai’i Wildlife Fund’s Marine Debris Removal Project
Megan Lamson, Marine Debris Project Coordinator, Hawaii Wildlife Fund
The talk will outline the story of how non-profit Hawai’i Wildlife Fund (HWF) removes marine debris from along the southeastern shores of Hawai’i Island. HWF has been hosting community cleanup events along this particular 9-mi stretch of coastline since 2003. During this time, they have worked with hundreds of volunteers and removed over a 130 tons of marine debris from this rugged, rural, and rocky kahakai. Megan will talk about the history of HWF, basic marine debris facts/stats, their cleanup efforts, and some things that each of us can do in our everyday lives to reduce the amount of marine debris in our oceans. If possible, she will show a short video that HWF is currently making.

Thursday, March 31
Tackling Marine Debris in the Monument
By: Staff from NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center’s Coral Reef Ecosystem Division
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) are home to endangered Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles, seabirds, and a near-pristine coral reef ecosystem. Due to the islands’ location in the North Pacific gyre, these marine species and ecosystems are threatened by marine debris which accumulates there. Most of this debris consists of derelict fishing gear, which can entangle and severely injure or even kill wildlife. Ongoing since 1996, staff with the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), Coral Reef Ecosystem Division have removed derelict nets from the reefs and shores of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. All nets brought back are used to create electricity in Hawaii’s trash–to-energy program. This program has been ongoing and successful due to the private-public partnership of Hawaii’s multi-agency marine debris partners.

Marine Debris Awareness Student Art Project Display

Opens Friday, March 18 to Thursday, April 28– The Marine Debris Awareness Student Art Project Display is an initiative by the Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawai`i (B.E.A.C.H.) involving students in K-12 in learning about the impacts of marine debris and then the students created paintings and drawings to bring awareness to these issues in the community. Opens at the Hawai`i State Capitol, 18th March 2011 and closes Thursday, April 28. Hours are 7:30am-10pm weekdays, 8:30am-2pm Saturdays. Entry is free and open to the public. Parking is available underneath the building and is free on Saturdays and after 6pm on weekdays. Parking entrance is via Miller Street. For more information, please call B.E.A.C.H. on (808) 393 2168 or visit:

The Architecture of Plastic Pollution: Art and Public Action Against Marine Debris and Persistent Organic Pollutants  

Opens to the public in several locations in Honolulu, Hawai’i, March 2011. Featuring international artists whose work explores crucial issues of the impact of chemicals and hazardous wastes on environment health and food security, through the growing global problem of plastic marine debris.  Safe Planet is an ambitious global public awareness and outreach campaign for ensuring the safety of human health and the environment against hazardous chemicals and wastes. Supporting the campaign is the extraordinary reach and impact of the United Nations Environment Programme and the joint services of the interrelated Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. These three leading global chemicals and waste management instruments provide concrete measures, new initiatives and viable solutions to current and emerging issues related to hazardous chemicals and waste.

This travelling and expanding exhibition which opened at the Czech Center, Bohemian National Hall in New York City in May 2010 is linking key UN and civil society events around the world over the next two years, working towards a major show at the Rio+20 World Summit on Sustainable Development in May 2012. 

Participating artists in Honolulu include: Rahmin Bahrani (South Carolina USA), Jason deCaires Taylor (UK/Mexico), Jamaica Osorio, (Hawai’i USA), Libuše Niklová (CZ), Chris Jordan (Washington USA), Susan Scott (Hawai’i USA), Barbara Benish (CZ/California USA), Tony Cragg (UK), Mark Chai (Hawai’i USA). The Arcitecture of Plastic Pollution addresses the continued destruction of our oceans by marine debris. If marine life if poisoned, so too is human life. It is traditionally the work of the artist to bring to reality, that which appears unreal. We work in the realm of the unconscious, the invisible, the other. Through the arts we challenge our perceptions of hazardous chemicals and wastes and stimulate new thinking about how each of us can take responsibility for ensuring the safety of human health and the environment.

March 17/19: Press Conference: LIVE FROM THE SEA DRAGON, 5 Gyres Institute scientific research vessel departing from Valderia, Chile, for Easter Island and Rapa Nu’i

March 19-31: at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
School of Architecture and sattelite venues including Waikiki Aquarium at Surfrider’s event, Mark’s Garage (downtown Chintown), and Hawaii State Capitol Building

March 24, 5:30-9 p.m: ART & THE OCEAN, Free and Open to the Public: University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, School of Architecture, 2410 Campus Road
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96822

t  | 808.956.7225
f  | 808.956.7778
e |

Barbara Benish, Stiv Wilson

“Love Your Coast” Kahuku to Turtle Bay Coastal Clean-up

Saturday, March 26. Meet at 10am at Kahuku High School car park. Click here to download the flyer (pdf, 552kb).

Visit for more information.

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