Workshops & Trainings

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5IMDC Workshop Descriptions

SUNDAY, March 20th

The Importance of Adequate Port Reception Facilities (for Ship Generated Wastes) in reducing Marine Debris
 Sunday, March 20th 1-5pm
 Max Participation:  60

Some studies have indicated that as much as 20% of Marine Debris (MD) comes from ships that dump wastes into the ocean as they transit from one port to the next.  MARPOL regulations require all IMO Member States to provide port waste reception facilities (PRFs) at their ports for ship generated wastes, including Annex V wastes, which may be discharged under certain conditions and may contribute to MD.  Adequate reception facilities provide an incentive for ships to discharge all operational wastes, including prohibited wastes such as plastics while in port. IMO, through its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) and Sub-Committee work groups and correspondence groups have been addressing the problem of inadequacy of reception facilities as part of the on-going world wide effort to significantly reduce discharges of Annex V wastes into the ocean environment.

The IMO maintains a database called Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) with a module that Member States can populate with information on availability of port reception facilities in their country.  The database (called the Port Reception Facility Database or PRFD) can be updated by authorized Member State officials and provides detailed information on the categories of MARPOL wastes that are accepted at ports around the world.  Another feature of GISIS that can be publicly accessed lists ports that have been reported inadequate (i.e. could not accept wastes or provided a disincentive to discharge wastes in port) by ships visiting those ports and thus potentially encouraging ships to discharge wastes at sea.

5IMDC participants in this workshop will gain valuable information on the use of GISIS as an important tool in the effort to reduce and eliminate waste from ships that could end up in the oceans and contribute to MD.  A presentation will demonstrate the use of the database by ships and port operators, as well as provide an overview of the tools available for reporting inadequacies and of the work of UNEP, IMO and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in developing standards for garbage management aboard ship and at PRFs.   Participants in the workshop will engage in a round table discussion on Best Management Practices for ship’s and operators of PRFs aimed at Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling ships wastes with the goal of moving toward zero discharge of wastes from ships and eliminate MD from.  A workshop was recently presented in Panama to kick off outreach efforts in the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) ahead of the coming into effect of Special Area restrictions on discharges from ships on 1 May 2011.

Instructor/Organizer: Capt. David A Condino, USMM, CIV – US Coast Guard, Office of Port and Facility Activities, CG-5442, Safety Branch

Addressing the causes of DFG in the Asian Pacific Region
Sunday, March 20th 8am-5pm
Max Participation:  40

This workshop explore the underlying causes and contributors to derelict  fishing gear in the Asian Pacific region, with an ultimate goal to develop the foundation for an action plan that can be implemented by local fisheries and other management authorities.

Invited experts will discuss the potential causes of gear loss/abandonment in the region and develop an action plan that addresses these causes, cognizant of the special needs of the region’s developing nations and SIDS. Discussions will include impacts of DFG on local marine ecosystems, underlying socioeconomic reasons for loss and abandonment of gear, local resources to address DFG potential management options to reduce DFG, and outreach/education tools.

After the IMMDC, an Action Plan for the region to reduce DFG will be developed reflecting the outcomes and discussions at workshop and then distributed for review by participants. NOAA Fisheries’ Office of International Affairs will work with other interested organizations to explore the potential for follow-up workshops in specific Asian Pacific nations to implement the elements of the action plan. The intent is to have this workshop set up and launch a multi-year initiative which will tangibly decrease the loss of fishing gear in the region by building the capacity of local management authorities coupled with education/outreach of the fishing industry.

The goal of workshops conveners is to establish and maintain a network of interested participants that will work to implement the Action Plan to reduce DFG within the region.

Proposed Participants: Fisheries experts from the relevant region. APEC and FAO experts working on DFG. Relevant Experts. NOAA Fisheries IA has submitted $25KUSD to offset travel costs.

Benefit to Participants:  Broad discussion of existing DFG issues in the region will enable future collaborations and allow for sharing of experiences. Development of action plan will provide guidance to local authorities. Participation in workshop will introduce participants to potential funding agencies for additional work.

Instructor/Organizer: Elizabethann English, NOAA Fisheries Office of International Affairs

Results Chains: A Tool for Creating Effective Marine Debris Strategies
Sunday, March 20th 8am-5pm
Max Participation:  30

Results chains are a useful planning tool to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of strategies that address threats of marine debris.  Being used around the globe, results chains offer managers and conservation professionals a logical and strategic way to clarify why certain actions are being taken to address impacts of marine debris on the natural environment, what results are predicted to occur following such action, and how results will be measured through time.  Results chains are powerful in that similar chains can be shared and tested between peers and across geographies, increasing our collective understanding of how best to address marine debris under certain conditions which specific strategies.

Participants in this workshop will learn what a results chain is and how it is structured, learn how to design a results chain so that it tests assumptions that participants have regarding how strategies they are using will lead to reduced impacts of marine debris, and identify a set of measures to track progress and gage effectiveness of strategies used.  The session will feature presentations, hands-on development of conceptual models and results chains, and case studies to illustrate how results chains are being used in the real world as a planning tool to address marine debris.

Participants should come prepared with a list of marine debris issues, including causes and impacts of marine debris,  strategies or actions currently being take in their own region or site where they are working, and any indicators currently being used to monitor change.  We will use this information to develop conceptual models describing the direct and indirect threats to the ecosystem.  These  conceptual models will be used as a basis for developing results chains to test hypothesis about cause and effect of the strategies being employed.  Additional information on what to bring will be provided to registrants.

Instructor/Organizer: John Parks, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii
Co-Instructor/Organizer: Kitty Courtney, Tetra Tech, Inc.

Methods for measuring the impacts of derelict fishing gear and its removal 
Sunday, March 20th 8am-12pm
Max Participation:  40

While it is generally accepted that derelict fishing gear is an entanglement or entrapment risk to marine wildlife, that it has the potential to alter marine habitats, and that its removal from the marine environment is therefore of benefit to ocean resources and habitats, science-based methods for measuring its impacts and the biological benefits of removal vary among programs, and/or are underutilized.

The goal of this proposed workshop is to provide a forum for comparing and contrasting currently utilized and past methodologies for measuring derelict fishing gear impacts and ecological benefits of removal across programs. It will be organized in two parts: to start, we will hear short (15-20 minute) presentations from representatives of large-scale derelict fishing gear removal programs (e.g. Washington state, Hawaii, Chesapeake Bay) that describe how these programs are measuring impacts of gear and gear removal. We will then open the floor for group discussion guided by two key questions:

1) What are minimum data and a basic protocol that should be used to measure impacts of derelict fishing gear to living resources and to habitat?; and

2) What are minimum data and a basic protocol that should be used to measure the response of a population or habitat to derelict fishing gear removal?

The outcome of this workshop will be a Recommended Methods white paper that is prescriptive, yet general and cross-cutting enough to be useful for any derelict fishing gear removal program operating anywhere in the world. The aim will be to agree on recommended methods that generate data potentially comparable across programs and regions. Specifically, the Recommended Methods paper will be organized as follows:

  1. Purpose/importance of measuring impacts of gear and of gear removal (1 page)
  2. Review of currently utilized methods (2-5 pages)
  3. Challenges/limitations of currently utilized methods (1-3 pages)
  4. Recommended methods (2-5 pages)

Section 1 will be prepared by the workshop organizer and distributed to workshop participants before the workshop, and reviewed and augmented as suggested by participants at the start of the workshop. Initial information for Sections 2 and 3 will be submitted in written form by speakers to the workshop organizer (who will send out a questionnaire) two weeks prior to the workshop, then presented by each speaker at the workshop, and augmented with additional input gained through discussion among workshop attendees. The workshop organizer will revise and finalize these sections post-workshop based on workshop discussion. Section 4 will be started at the workshop, through the posing of specific questions to workshop attendees. Attendees will be provided with a Section 4 worksheet to fill out with their ideas/comments/notes, to turn in at the end of the workshop.  A draft final document will be circulated among workshop attendees by April 15, 2011, and then reviewed by 1-3 external reviewers in May 2011, with the final document completed by June 1, 2011.

Instructor/Organizer: Kirsten Gilardi, California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project – SeaDoc Society – UC Davis Wildlife Health Center
Co-Instructor/Organizer: Jennifer Renzullo, SeaDoc Society – UC Davis Wildlife Health Center

Hydrodynamics of marine debris
Sunday, March 20th 8am-5pm
Max Participation:  100

This workshop addresses the motion of marine debris in water.  All types of marine debris will be considered, including derelict fishing gear, large floating objects, fragmented plastic, tar balls, etc.  Examples of processes that affect the motion of marine debris include (but are not limited to):

  • Advection (drift) by ocean currents
  • Breaking waves and wind forcing
  • Vertical motion and mixing
  • Aggregation in convergence zones, at fronts, and on the shoreline
  • Interaction with equipment designed to collect debris in the open ocean
  • Interaction with coastal traps

The workshop goal will be to formulate the steps necessary to quantify the major sources and sinks of marine debris (perhaps including some that are presently unknown), as well as the pathways between them, with the ultimate goal to quantify the basin-scale and global inventory of marine debris by closing the associated mass budgets.  The workshop will bring together modelers and observational scientists to integrate the two approaches of study of marine debris hydrodynamics.  Formulation of an online data base containing observational, diagnostic, and model data sets will also be discussed.

The format will include 15-18 20-minute presentations, followed by breakout groups for discussion on particular topics that may include:

  • Numerical models and the modules necessary to adequately describe local motion and global circulation of various kinds of debris statistically and under given ocean and atmosphere conditions, on short and long time scales.
  • Measurements required to validate and tune the numerical models.
  • Techniques for the conversion of existing historical data sets into an integrated estimate of water-column debris content.
  • The sensitivity of net trawls, the traditional method for measuring and characterizing marine debris, to wind and ocean conditions.
  • Additional or new measurement techniques, such as scanning trawls integrating a range of depths, deep trawls, particle traps, sediment samplers, and autonomous debris sensors for use with moorings and ships of opportunity.

Instructor/Organizer: Nikolai Maximenko, International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii
Co-Instructor/Organizer: Kara Lavender Law, Sea Education Association

Washed Ashore: Plastics, Sea Life and Environmental Art
Sunday, March 20th 1:30-5:30pm
Max Participation:  90

Learn about the process of making large-scale educational art out of marine debris! Environmental artist and educator Angela Haseltine Pozzi will take participants through the story of one community’s direct engagement with marine debris. Beginning in February 2010, Ms. Pozzi has led the community along the southern Oregon coast in a vast effort to turn plastic pollution washing ashore into large-scale educational sculptures of the sea creatures most affected by the debris. These sculptures form a touring educational exhibit that travels to museums, aquariums and art centers where thousands of people can learn about the ravages of plastics in the ocean through the medium of striking gigantic sculptures of fish, whales, turtles, jellyfish and even an enormous walk-through plastic gyre, all made completely out of marine debris.

This workshop will be a combination of oral presentation and hands-on participation. A presentation will be made about the project, the consequences to the community and beyond, and the vision of using art as a medium to engage in the ever-growing conversation about marine debris.  A feature-length documentary film is currently being made about the project, which will be shown or previewed during the workshop as well, if applicable.

The hands-on component of the workshop will include fabricating fish scales or bird feathers out of marine debris. Participants will get to drill, stitch and assemble elements of one of the large-scale sculptures! No prior artistic experience is needed; Ms. Pozzi provides all instruction and supplies.

Instructor/Organizer: Angela Haseltine Pozzi, Washed Ashore project
Co-Instructor/Organizer: Kyle Brown, Artula Institute

WEDNESDAY, March 23rd

*CLOSED/FULL* Keep the Sea Free of Debris: Developing effective outreach for land-based marine debris
Wednesday, March 23rd 1:30-5:30pm
Max Participation:  30 *FULL*

Marine debris is a complex, multi-faceted issue. While all aspects are equally important, when it comes to the global community, land-based litter is one of the more prominent and prevalent topics. Therefore, there has been a recent increase in media coverage on and awareness of marine debris topics targeting the general public. Much of the information however, has been misleading, over-exaggerated, or based on hearsay. Ensuring that public opinion is based upon accurate, science-based information is increasingly important because resulting attitudes can determine what issues are significant and thus must be addressed. The long term goal is to improve stewardship of our oceans and resources by providing better information to the public.

Participants of this workshop should be involved or interested in outreach, education, or communications on land-based marine debris. The workshop will focus on informal outreach to general audiences (i.e., the general public), and if time allows, one or two specific audiences. Examples of broad-reach outreach tools, such as web-based marine debris visualizations and interactive elements, will be presented and demonstrated.  Participant feedback and impressions amongst the group will be encouraged.

Participants will discuss and identify 2-3 target issues within the scope of land-based debris and prevention (e.g., recycling or lack of, proper waste disposal). Success stories, methods, and projects related to those target issues will be shared and 2-3 strategic and collaborative projects will be designed and laid out that could be easily executed with limited resources and used internationally. Additionally, participants will help to formulate several internationally relevant key messages on land-based marine debris and prevention in order to help standardize and unify messaging on marine debris worldwide.

Instructor/Organizer: Carey Morishige, NOAA Marine Debris Division/I.M. Systems Group, Inc.
Co-Instructor/Organizer: Leon Geschwind, TBG on contract at NOAA Pacific Services Center

*This workshop is CLOSED/FULL*
Learning Shoreline Assessment Protocols for Marine Debris
Wednesday, March 23rd 8am-12pm
Max Participation:  30 *FULL*

A wide number of marine debris shoreline assessments exist around the world, but information gathered is often incomparable due to differing objectives and methodologies.  The NOAA Marine Debris Division (MDD) has reviewed several of these methodologies (EPA’s NMDMP, UNEP’s guidelines on marine litter, Israel’s Clean Coast Index, etc.) and have been working to develop a statistically robust and holistic analysis which addresses all types and locations of debris in an area and which can be standardized to use across the globe.  Once established, these shoreline methodologies will be paired with surface water trawls, pelagic sampling, underwater/benthic assessments, and sediment analysis to determine the overall density of marine debris in a given region or area.  This type of long-term monitoring program employing a standard methodology is necessary in order to compare marine debris source, abundance, distribution, movement, and impact data on regional, national, and global scales.

This four hour combined workshop and field trip will give participants an opportunity to learn and conduct one of these shoreline density assessments and see Hawaii’s debris first hand.  Before departure, each of the participants will be given a survey field guide and go through “basic training” where an overview of the methodology will be presented.  This includes how to characterize the shoreline and identify transects, appropriate debris categories and sizes, and common issues encountered during the assessments.

Firsthand experience and training in the methodology is key to successful implementation.  Therefore, interested participants will have the opportunity to go in the field and conduct one of these shoreline assessments.  Once arriving on site at Waimanalo Bay Recreational Area, the group will be split into teams of two or three.  Each team will complete a shoreline characterization datasheet and walk a transect to tally debris using equipment provided by NOAA MDD.  MDD staff will be available for assistance and questions.  Once complete, we will then sit and discuss the monitoring protocols and their future use.  Participants will be able to provide comments on the developed methodology and discuss how it can be implemented in their own country/region.

Instructor/Organizer: Sarah Opfer, NOAA Marine Debris Division
Co-Instructor/Organizer: Courtney Arthur, NOAA Marine Debris Division

Marine debris education: Classroom and outreach lessons to teach students about marine debris
Wednesday, March 23rd 1:30-5:30pm
Max Participation:  25

Marine debris is an environmental problem of global importance, enlisting the concern and action of scientists, policy makers, as well as the general public around the world. This workshop will introduce a three-lesson kit created by the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) to help educators teach about marine debris. The main themes of the kit are the biological impacts of marine debris, geographical distribution of marine debris, and ways society creates marine debris. Participants will go through the kit, critically examine data, and take part in activities that explore the causes, geographical distribution, and biological impacts of marine debris as students using the kit would. Participants in the workshop will learn ways to teach about marine debris as well as discuss ways to create their own marine debris kit from the online resources.  All lessons and electronic materials presented during the workshop are available online at  Each lesson in the kit can be completed in about 50–60 minutes, but many of the activities are discrete and can be easily rearranged to fit various curricular objectives, time constraints and locations.

Instructor/Organizer: Jim Foley, The Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education

Fine Art, Ecotourism, and Science Education – Partnering to Increase Marine Debris Awareness within Communities
Wednesday, March 23rd 1:30-3:30pm
Max Participation:  100

Art, technology, and ecotourism can provide real time (firsthand) experiences allowing those involved a personalized view of the ecological consequences of marine pollution, its potential impacts on them, and their role in the problem. This personalized and informed experience, when made accessible, can dramatically inspire and alter behaviors in communities that experience it.
This workshop will be a panel discussion. The panel will consist of 4 members:
  1. Pam Longobardi – A professor of Art at Georgia State University where in 2005 she was the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award. She has created the Drifters Project,, an ongoing project of photography, installation, and environmental intervention focusing on oceans and plastics pollution. Through this project she has written the book Drifters, described by Carl Safina as “Her work is witness, and in it we share. She gives us a wakeup call, a call to action, a call for change.” Her art has been part of over 40 solo exhibitions and 65 group exhibitions in galleries and museums in the US, China, Italy, Spain, Finland, Poland, Japan and elsewhere.
  2. Dianna Cohen – Calling both Los Angeles, California and Barcelona, Spain home, Dianna has utilized the plastic bag as the primary media in her art for the last 20 years. She is a co-founder the non-profit organization – Plastic Pollution Coalition the goals of which are to create a global alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working together to stop plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals and the environment. Designed to create a platform for collaboration and coherent communications; increases awareness and understanding of the problem and sustainable solutions; and empowers action as was evidenced through a recently sponsored TEDx entitled “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” 
  3. Howard Ferren – Is the Director of Conservation at the Alaska SeaLife Center. His career spans decades of service to both non-profit and for-profit sector organizations committed to conservation and innovation. Marine debris and marine invasive species are among current programs he directs toward sustaining healthy marine ecosystems.  Howard holds a Master of Science degree in biological oceanography from the University of Alaska, Institute of Marine Science where he studied diving physiology in marine mammals.
  4. Wayne Sentman – Is the field education manager for the marine conservation non-profit Oceanic Society, currently leading educational marine ecotourist groups to areas such as Kenya, Micronesia, Suriname, and Indonesia. For 4 years Wayne worked at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge for both federal and non-profit groups. While there he helped to initiate a collaborative marine debris collection project sponsored by NOAA and the USFWS. Wayne has worked with fellow panel member Pam Longobardi to organize the 5IMDC Marine Debris Art Exhibit: The Sixth Gyre: Art, Oceans, and Plastic Pollution
Individual panel members will make 20-minute presentations focusing on their work raising awareness in various communities (ecotourists, scientists, elementary & college students, general public) through art, conservation education, on-site visitation, use of web-based communications, and collaborative projects. The presentations will discuss how art and experiential based learning opportunities (ecotourism) can be integrated with conservation education, helping direct diverse communities to better interpret their individual connections to these issues, and begin to seek inspired remedies.
Workshop participants will have opportunities to ask questions of the panel participants about how to successfully draw together multiple organizations, agencies, and established artists to successfully achieve education and outreach goals related to marine debris and ocean conservation awareness.
Discussions will include:
1) How collaborations between multiple disciplines can facilitate inspired public awareness in non-judgmental ways.
2) How fine art can connect various (and sometimes non-traditional) community segments to the ecological challenges associated with marine debris and how this can be a powerful motivation for action.
3) Demonstrating how complimenting fine art with actual field experiences of biologists and ecotourists, and making this available in real time via web-based applications can bolster public participation and appreciation (connectedness) about current threats to our ocean health from marine debris.

Instructor/Organizer: Pam Longobardi, Georgia State University
Co-Instructor/Organizer: Wayne Sentman, Oceanic Society, Master’s Candidate Harvard University Extension School

A new twist to the monofilament recovery & recycling program: Personal-sized bins
Wednesday, March 23rd 3:30-5:30pm
Max Participation:  50

The Monofilament Recovery & Recycling Program is a Florida statewide effort to educate the public on the problems caused by discarded fishing line. The purpose of this workshop is to review the Florida program, discuss a pilot program to expand the MRRP to other regions in the US, and to discuss similar efforts worldwide. It will be followed by an interactive discussion where participants will be encouraged to provide suggestions and recommendations on implementation of monofilament collection in a variety of locations and cultures. Finally, there will be a hands-on demonstration on construction of the mini-bins where participants will get to make their own personal-sized recycling bins and will be provided with take away resources to help them expand the program in their community.

Instructor/Organizer: Michael Bailey, NOAA Fisheries
Co-instructor/Organizer: Kim Bassos-Hull, Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, Mote Marine Laboratory

Hawaii’s Youth Bridging Ancient Hawaiian stewardship practices and present-day technology for a sustainable ocean
Wednesday, March 23rd 1:30-5:30pm
Max Participation:  60

This 2.5 hour workshop will be presented using film, speakers and students to accompany ‘The Outrigger Canoe, A Cultural Bridge’ art project, created by an Hawaiian K-12 school on the Big Island. Children will collect beach trash with family and field trips which will be washed, sorted, counted and recorded in several categories: beach location, size, origin if possible, color, amount recovered within X time by X number of participants. The beach trash will be used to create a large interactive canoe art piece and world map to be exhibited at or near the conference venue. The younger children (K-3) will participate in focused curriculum on the topic of keeping track of beach toys and the effects on oceans and creatures when these toys are lost. This project will include a song to help them keep track of their toys, a pledge/certificate and an art project. These activities will be filmed to show at the workshop.

During the semester, specific curriculum will be supplied by workshop presenters. Local specialists will speak to the students on the following subjects: The state of our planet’s oceans, the cultural history and role of the Hawaiian outrigger canoe, how the Hawaiians were stewards of the land and the sea, how modern practices contribute to marine debris, how to bridge ancient Hawaiian cultural practices of ocean stewardship with current technology for pollution solutions. The student participants will be asked to create a research team using these guidelines to come up with ideas for sustainable and doable stewardship practices for our oceans by any cultural group.

At the 5IMDC workshop, we will present several speakers; an Hawaiian navigator from the Polynesian Voyaging Society, a present-day Hawaiian medicine man who uses original plants brought by canoe, an astronomer who studies on Mauna Kea and a present-day fisherman currently practicing ancient ways. These speakers will discuss the impact of marine debris on these ancient practices, how modern ways of fishing, farming, navigating, and astronomy advances have contributed to the problem of marine debris. The students will share ideas for bridging ancient Hawaiian ocean stewardship practices, present-day problems and modern technology for solutions, plus their findings on collected marine debris.

At the end of the workshop, students and instructors will share informational flyers that provide steps for every-day people from any country to lessen their contribution to marine debris; (filter home tap water, carry personal stainless water bottles, avoid purchasing single-use plastic items, recycle, use reusable shopping bags, pick up beach litter), as well as guidelines for urging governments to write new legislation for packaging that isn’t harmful to humans, oceans or landfills.

After the presentation, which will include a slide show or video of the making of the art pieces, students will escort workshop participants to interact with the canoe sculpture and to view the Marine Debris Fine Art Exhibit.  This project is dedicated to the children of the world from the children of Hawaii with aloha.

Instructor/Organizer: Teresa Espaniola,, Environmental art educator, creator of the art project ‘The Outrigger Canoe, A Cultural Bridge’
Co-Instructor/Organizer: PuaLilia Keohuloa, Co-Creator of the educational art project ‘The Outrigger Canoe, A Cultural Bridge’



Please contact or for any questions regarding workshop proposals.

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