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California Ocean Litter Strategy Implementation
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Action ItemLead Organization(s)Partner Organization(s)StatusLast UpdatedProgress Update Summary
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Objective 1.1. Prohibit or discourage common ocean litter items in public institutions, retail, and food service establishments through government policies or mandates.
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1.1.1Pass and implement policies that prohibit or discourage common ocean litter items at the local level and consider these policies for effectiveness assessment as described under Objective 4.4.California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC), The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoBay Area Stormwater Management Agency Association (BASMAA), Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Heal the Bay, PRCC, Surfrider Foundation, UPSTREAMIn ProgressMay 2022Recent local plastic pollution reduction laws include: a ban on single-use plastic foodware and polystyrene + allowing for reusable/compostable for dine-in and takeout in Carlsbad, CA; a ban on expanded polystyrene products, requiring single-use foodware to be compostable/ recyclable, and requiring reusable foodware to be used at full-service, dine in restaurants in Los Angeles County, CA; Los Angeles City expanded their plastic reduction ordinance to all restaurants; a ban on the intentional release of balloons and/or lanterns in Solana Beach and Encinitas.
CPSC is working with 4 local jurisdictions on textile recovery pilots to gather the necessary data for future recovery programs. CPSC has also convened the Statewide Textile Recovery Advisory Committee (STRAC) to make recommendations on textile recovery ordinances and green purchasing policies.
LA Sanitation and the Environment passed a suite of policy goals to reduce the entry of plastic waste into the environment, reduce plastic waste generation, eliminate single-use products, and encourage sustainable green procurement.
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1.1.2Pass and implement legislation that prohibits or discourages common ocean litter items at the state level and consider these policies for effectiveness assessment as described under Objective 4.4CPSC, The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoCalifornians Against Waste, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Heal the Bay, PRCC, Surfrider Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, UPSTREAMIn ProgressMay 2022Active 2022 Bills Addressing Ocean Litter: AB 661 – Bennett – Recycling: materials - SABRC.– CPSC Support; AB 847 – Quirk – Electrically conductive balloons; AB 1067 – Ting – Beverage containers; AB 1454 – Bloom – The California Beverage Container and Litter Reduction Act – Certified bag drop zones and redemption program; AB 1817 – Ting – Product safety: textile articles: PFAS – CPSC Support; AB 1953 – Maienschein – Drinking water: accessible water bottle refill stations; AB 2026 – Friedman – Recycling: plastic packaging and carryout bags – CPSC Support; AB 2247 – Bloom – Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) products: disclosure: publicly accessible reporting platform – CPSC Support; AB 2374 – Bauer-Kahan – Crimes against public health and safety: illegal dumping; AB 2638 – Bloom – School facilities: drinking water: water bottle filling stations – CPSC Support; AB 2771 – Friedman – Cosmetic products: safety – CPSC Support; AB 2779 – Irwin – Beverage containers: wine and distilled spirits – CPSC Support; AB 2787 – Quirk – Microplastics in products; AB 2784 – Ting – Solid waste: thermoform plastic containers: postconsumer thermoform recycled plastic; SB 38 – Wieckowski – Beverage Containers – CRV program overhaul; SB 45 – Portantino – Short-lived climate pollutants: organic waste reduction goals; SB 54 – Allen – Plastic Pollution Producer Responsibility Act; SB 451 – Dodd – Beverage container recycling: pilot program; SB 1046 – Eggman – Solid waste: precheckout bags – CPSC Support; SB 1187 – Kamlager - Fabric recycling: pilot project; AB 1857 (waste diversion credits); ballot intiative
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1.1.3Expand the single-use plastic carryout bag ban to apply to retail stores, restaurants, and food delivery, and amend the state’s criteria for reusable bags to exclude bags made from plastic film.CPSC, The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoCalifornians Against Waste, Surfrider FoundationIn ProgressMay 2022There is some movement in San Francisco. The Surfrider SF chapter is following this. Also asking the CA Statewide Commission on Recycling along with other organizations to ensure that the statewide bag ban is properly implemented.
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1.1.4Promote reusable and refillable food and beverage packaging in the state bottle bill, and state and local packaging policies CPSC, The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoCalifornians Against Waste, UPSTREAM, PRCCIn ProgressMay 2022Several local policies have passed promoting reusables including the City of LA and LA County ordinances on single use food ware. The state of California has various active legislation promoting reusable and refilled food and bev packaging. Legislation includes SB 1256 (Wieckowski) Waste management: disposable propane cylinders and AB 1953 (Maienschein) Refillable Water Stations.
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1.1.5Change procurement of common ocean litter items on UC and CSU campuses, and share lessons learned with other learning institutions (e.g., community colleges, K-12).Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, CPSCCompletedMay 2021CSU policy preventing procurement of some single-use plastics passed Dec 2018. UC announced a phase-out of single-use plastics in Aug 2020.
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1.1.6Change procurement to minimize the use of common ocean litter items in local and state government buildings and events, and share lessons learned with other public institutions (e.g., federal facilities, jails, hospitals).OPCBASMAA, Californians Against Waste, CleanWater Action/Clean Water Fund, CPSC, UPSTREAM In ProgressMay 2022SB 1335 requires CalRecycle to maintain a List of Approved Food Service Packaging of food service packaging items approved and eligible for use by state food service facilities. CalRecycle published the List of Approved Recyclable Food Service Packaging Items on April 29, 2022. The California Department of General Services (DGS) has also issued guidance titled "Greening the State of California: Buyers and Suppliers Guide for Reusable, Recyclable, or Compostable Food Service Packaging Items."
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1.1.7Require permits for new construction of dine-in restaurants to include dishwashing facilities on-site to accommodate reusable food ware.Californians Against Waste, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, UPSTREAMIn ProgressMay 2021Surfrider has helped to introduce a mandate for onsite diners to be served only with reusables at the state and local level. Their model ordinance has been used for legislative introductions. At the state level, AB 1162 includes this provision. This provision has been enacted in the following cities in CA: Arcata, Berkeley, Fairfax, Half Moon Bay, San Anselmo. There are more ordinances like this introduced and being introduced in 2021 and we hope to see several more enacted this year.
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1.1.8Develop a toolkit with materials and strategies to share with local and out-of-state advocates to a) aid in the process of banning common ocean litter items, and b) to aid in the process of switching local governments and communities to reusable items.Plastic Pollution Coalition, UPSTREAMOPCCompletedMay 2022UPSTREAM developed a toolkit for actions to promote a transition to reusable and refillable packaging. The toolkit will help local and state decision makers pass and organizers enact foodware policies, guiding the process from development through implementation by providing resources, training, and outreach hub. The toolkit includes: 1. Reuse policies, supporting resources, and a training program for getting them enacted: 2. A list of environmentally preferable single-use and reusable packaging items; 3. A Directory of reuse businesses and service models; and 4. A restaurant outreach toolkit for communities. The toolkit "Roadmap to Reuse" is available at https://upstreamsolutions.org/roadmap-to-reuse.
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Objective 1.2. Incentivize institutions, businesses, and events to transition away from common ocean litter items
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1.2.1Perform audits before and after institutions implement efforts to minimize the use of common ocean litter items.Clean Water Action/Clean Water FundIn ProgressMay 2022Clean Water Fund uses their packaging audit process to analyze environmental and economic impact of a subset of businesses that receive technical assistance to switch to reusable foodware (i.e. number of disposable items reduced, weight of trash avoided, annual net cost savings, etc). The results of a few of these data tracked businesses are described through case studies so that their work may inspire others to prioritize reuse: Orens Hummus, Manila Eatery, Jersey Joe's, Cam Anh. (You can view the case study one pagers in the OLS Google Drive folder)
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1.2.2Incentivize businesses and corporations to transition to reusables (e.g., film industry craft services, corporate dining, water refill stations) through sharing case studies and demonstrating cost-savings.Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Surfrider Foundation, UPSTREAMIn ProgressMay 2022The Foodware Guide and accompanying cost calculator by ReThink Disposable are still in circulation. CWF actively engages businesses to promote reusables for food service. Over the next year, ~3,200 food facilities will receive info about switching to reusable foodware and 450+ businesses are expected to participate in the ReThink Disposable technical assistance program - free technical assistance + $300-$500 in prebates (doubled for BIPOC, women, and LGBTQA+ business owners). CWF is also launching a disposable foodware pilot in 2022 with Berkeley Unified School District.
Surfrider recently removed the mandatory fee for the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program in order to increase the accessibility of the program in the wake of the pandemic. We also revised the criteria to better reflect the increase in takeout in addition to aligning with Surfrider's policy goals. Our current focus is to renew our 750+ restaurant members into the updated program.
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1.2.3Promote certification for events (e.g., music festivals, concerts, sports competitions, film production) that achieve zero waste principles. The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoClean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Surfrider Foundation, Stand up to TrashIn ProgressMay 2022Surfrider's Ocean Friendly Events is still on hold until further notice. Until then, there are local efforts in the Rise Above Plastics program to provide recommendations to events working towards zero waste.
SD Zero (winners of Scripps-Rady Ocean Plastic Pollution Challenge) launched their website wastezerooceanhero.com with resources for zero waste events and a draft model ordinance leveraging the city permitting process to prohibit single use plastics in city permitted events.
Stand up to Trash is gathering assets and making contacts to implement zero waste practices at the Dana Point Harbor annual events.
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1.2.4Engage with companies that are already using alternative products and materials to help advocate for transition away from common ocean litter items.PRCC, Surfrider FoundationIn ProgressMay 2022Surfrider continues to engage with and support zero waste businesses including Dispatch Goods, USEFULL, and others. As this is a rapidly growing field, we are continuing to research startups with the goal of selecting a partner for our Ocean Friendly Restaurants program. In addition, we are continuing to advocate for reusable and more sustainable products through their internal Ocean Friendly Vendor Guide.
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Objective 2.1. Support and promote extended producer responsibility (EPR) and other waste management strategies to reduce the generation of common ocean litter items, and create a mechanism for producers to fund common ocean litter item capture, cleanup, and recycling infrastructure.
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2.1.1Promote EPR as a policy to consider as part of CalRecycle’s Packaging Reform efforts, and support giving CalRecycle legislative authority to create mandatory packaging reform policies.Californians Against Waste, CPSC, PRCC, Save Our Shores, The Nature Conservancy, UPSTREAM, National Stewardship Action CouncilIn ProgressDecember 2020OPC and partner organizations disscussed potential definitions of “producer” in this context. OPC also reached out to local governments to discuss local ordinances, and is considering how to effectively coordinate moving forward.
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2.1.2Create a report synthesizing lessons learned from waste management policy and tool implementation in other countries, including recommendations for California with a focus on source reduction.CPSC, UPSTREAM, National Stewardship Action Council, OPCIn ProgressMay 2022CPSC continues to track and learn from international polices. In February 2022, the European Commission adopted a proposal for corporate sustainability due diligence that would foster sustainable and responsible corporate behavior throughout the global value chains aiming for more effective protection of human rights and avoid adverse environmental impacts. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_1145
France adopted their comprehensive Anti-waste Law in 2020 and become the first country to ban the destruction of unsold non-food products, as well as the first country to introduce a mandatory repairability index on electronic and electric products. https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/frances-anti-waste-and-circular-economy-law?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=organic_social
The European Union released their “microplastic pollution – measures to reduce its impact on the environment” consultation which aims to allow the EU to capture the views of the public and stakeholders on the issue of microplastic pollution. https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12823-Microplastics-pollution-measures-to-reduce-its-impact-on-the-environment/public-consultation_en
Canada established their Battery EPR program in early 2020. https://rco.on.ca/extended-producer-responsibility-for-batteries/
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2.1.3Include performance measures in EPR programs for both prevention and recycling of common ocean litter items, with prevention being a higher priority.CPSCCalifornians Against Waste, PRCC, Save Our Shores, UPSTREAM, National Stewardship Action CouncilIn ProgressMay 2022Established stewardship programs in CA, such as carpet, mattresses, and paint continue to use the same metrics and goals as previously reported. California’s carpet program became the first in the country to implement a eco-modulated fee system.
In December 2021, CalRecycle hosted a workshop for their legislated requirement to review and update the program goals and metrics for the Carpet stewardship program, which were adopted in Spring 2022 to make the following changes to the EPR performance measures:
1. CARE must revise the implementation date to on or before April 1, 2022.
2. CARE must establish an annual (or more frequent) process to review and update, as needed
3. CARE must adopt a schedule to develop a revised system of differential assessments that is inclusive of additional factors, for inclusion in its next plan.
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2.1.4Ensure that all film and wrap plastics eligible for recycling (plasticfilmrecycling.org) are accepted at all drop-off locations (e.g., grocery stores), and enforce the recycling requirements that are part of the single-use plastic carryout bag ban.In ProgressDecember 2020As of Sept 2020, National Stewardship Action Council is planning to make a recommendation to legislature on whether film plastic can be recycled or whether it’s a contaminant.
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Objective 2.2. Support product redesign with the aim of preventing ocean litter through design changes and avoiding harmful substitutions.
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2.2.1Engage corporations in common ocean litter item redesign by implementing design challenges, and creating a venue for sharing innovative designs with brands and corporationsThe Albatross Coalition, Think Beyond Plastic, Zero Waste San DiegoACC, PRCCIn ProgressJune 2020Drafting and submitting information to manufacterers about the scale of the problem. Planning for future work in the spring of 2020
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2.2.2Redesign and produce bottles with caps attached (“connect the cap”), and ensure that all components of these products are recyclable at all facilities in California.The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoACC, Californians Against Waste, PRCC, Surfrider Foundation, Think Beyond PlasticIn ProgressNovember 2021Save the Albatross Coalition have in the past written a letter to the following companies Sustainability Director, Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle Waters and Crystal Geyser, to ask to work with them on the redesign of their product. We have yet to receive a response. They are in the process of creating 3 letter writing campaigns: 1. Letter from nonprofits and businesses to the companies asking for the redesign, 2. Grassroots letter from the consumers to the companies demanding for a redesign, 3. Letter from nonprofits/businesses/consumers to select few legislators to adopt legislation like in Europe.
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2.2.3Redesign plastic products to be circular and entirely recyclable in California, through voluntary or legislative action.CPSC, The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoCalifornians Against Waste, PRCCIn ProgressMay 2022CPSC launched 4 textile recovery projects and policy development in California that expand circular fiber systems with reduced cost-burden on local government and rate payers through producer engagement. CPSC is also managing three CalRecycle-funded marine flare projects. California is in the process of major investments in composting infrastructure to support soil-to-soil circularity for natural fibers. A partnership between Composable LA, California Cloth Foundry, and CSU Northridge has started the work on the best organic, all natural, untreated fabric scraps for composing that is free of microplastics and harmful chemicals.
OPC is in the process of scoping an expert workshop on plastic alternatives to advance the goals of the California Ocean Litter Strategy (Action 2.2.3) and Statewide Microplastics Strategy (Objective 2A.1.9) and inform international plastic alternatives efforts.
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Objective 3.1. Support the State Water Resources Control Board's Trash Amendments
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3.1.1Create a mechanism for local governments to fund stormwater trash programs through public or private sources.Heal the BayACC, BASMAA, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, PRCC, Save Our Shores, UPSTREAMIn ProgressNovember 2021The Implementation Ordinance for the Safe, Clean Water Program was approved by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors in July 2019. Heal the Bay has participated in monthly meetings with OurWaterLA Coalition, OWLA, and the LA County Flood Control District to help shape guidance documents and fund transfer agreements. Heal the Bay has been attending key Watershed Area Steering Committee, Scoring Committee, and Regional Oversight Committee meetings to ensure that the plans for funding allocation reflect the goals of the Implementation Ordinance. As of 11/02/2021, the County Board of Supervisors has approved both Round 1 and 2 of funding allocation, totally approximately $244 million allocated to regional projects, in addition to the 40% of total tax revenue that goes directly back to the municipalities for local allocation. The Round 3 call for projects has closed, and current infrastructure projects are under review by the Scoring Committee. The Round 4 call for projects is open through July 31, 2022.
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3.1.2Implement a statewide Adopt-A-Storm Drain program.City of OaklandPRCC, Save Our ShoresOn HoldMay 2022Due to staffing issues, the City of Oakland does not have capacity to expand this program state-wide and is focusing efforts on their own program. Their dashboard has a map of adopted drains.: https://oakland-volunteer-community-oakgis.hub.arcgis.com/pages/adopt-a-drain. They developed a template code for the website for any other municpalities to adopt.
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3.1.3Educate the public about the Trash AmendmentsBASMAA, California Coastkeeper Alliance, CPSC, Clean Water Action/Clean Water FundNone ReportedSeptember 2021Waterkeeper and Heal the Bay are almost the only NGOs that know the trash amendments exist. CA Coastkeeper Alliance is trying to help educate NGOs so they can help permit writing and education. Their goal is to have at least one NGO per stormwater permit to be the watchdog and supporter. Waterkeeper and Heal the Bay reps sit on board meetings and work with permitting. Some surfrider, sierra club chapters help with communication. Need NGOs to be more knowledgeable on trash amendments to follow up, communicate, and hold municipalities accountable
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Objective 3.2. Improve waste management in public places
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3.2.1Establish and improve management of trash, recycling, and compost receptacles in high-use areas.ACC, California Coastal Commission, PRCC, Save Our ShoresIn ProgressDecember 2020AB827 signed into law Oct 2019 requires businesses to make composting and recycling bins accessible to customers at restaurants, malls, and other businesses. 
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3.2.2Increase industry investment in infrastructure improvements to address waste management at schools and other public areas.ACCIn ProgressMay 2022One Cool Earth has developed a Marine Debris Prevention Best Practices Manual for schools. The manual is targeted at K-12 school administrators, staff and teachers with the goal of changing institutional waste through source reduction, reuse and diversion and provides case studies, achievable actions that schools can take to prevent marine debris, as well as links to classroom activities that involve students in campus waste prevention. The manual is available for free online: https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/curricula/marine-debris-prevention-best-practices-manual
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3.2.3Support packaging policies that develop and expand infrastructure for recycling in California.Californians Against Waste, CPSC, PRCC, The Nature ConservancyNone Reported
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3.2.4Engage with municipalities and social programs to assess how to reduce ocean litter from encampments, as one strategy to improve the health, wellbeing, and safety of homeless communities.BASMAA, California Coastkeeper AllianceOn HoldSepember 2021In January 2020 CA Coastkeeper Alliance published an overview of homeless encampment cleanup efforts.
In September 2021, the OLS Goal 3 workgroup decided to put this action on hold and let the CA Water Quality Council's Trash Monitoring Workgroup Encmapments Subcomittee take the lead.
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Objective 4.1. Conduct a comprehensive characterization of microplastics and macro-debris
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4.1.1Convene an expert workgroup to develop a matrix of standard sample collection, processing, and characterization methods for measuring temporal changes in microplastics and macro-debris in different environments.Algalita, SCCWRP, SFEI5 Gyres Institute, ACC, CASA/BACWA/SCAP, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, Dr. Erika Holland at CSULB, ESRM Program at CSUCI (including Dr. Clare Steele), NOAA MDP, PRCC, Surfrider FoundationIn ProgressMay 2022Surfrider is working to establish a citizen-science friendly sampling process for microplastics and other small plastic fragments. We are currently piloting one sampling process with our Chapters but are open to other volunteer based sampling practices.
As of Nov 2021, SCCWRP led a methods evaluation and standardization study. 40 participating organizations tested out 5 major methods (FTIR, Raman, Pyrolysis, Visual Microscopy). They convened a working group to help compare analytical methods.
The California Water Quality Monitoring Council, Trash Monitoring Workgroup established a Microplastic Subcommittee in November 2021 that is in the process in scoping and developing a Microplastics Monitoring Playbook designed to share best practices regarding sample collection, data reporting & analyses, and reproducibility.
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4.1.2Develop and test laboratory methods to identify the most common macro- and micro-plastic debris polymer types through molecular techniques (e.g., FTIR, Raman, forensics).Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, ESRM Program at CSUCI (including Dr. Clare Steele)ACC, CASA/BACWA/SCAP, Dr. Erika Holland at CSULB, Dr. Gerardo Dominguez at CSUSM, CSU COASTIn ProgressMay 2022As of Nov 2021, SCCWRP led a methods evaluation and standardization study. 40 participating organizations tested out 5 major methods (FTIR, Raman, Pyrolysis, Visual Microscopy). They convened a working group to help compare analytical methods.
Dr. Andrew Gray's lab have continued methodological advancement for the NOAA MDP funded Microplastics in San Pedro Bay project, and the State Water Board funded Newport Bay Microplastics Pollution project. + Open Specy publication: Cowger W, et al. 2021. Microplastic Spectral Classification Needs an Open Source Community: Open Specy to the Rescue! Analytical Chemistry, 93(21): 7543-7548. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.1c00123.
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4.1.3Develop a watershed-scale program to model and monitor microplastics and macro-debris flux, transport, degradation, and fate according to a variety of endpoints (e.g., street litter, stormwater, wastewater, and direct discharges).SFEI5 Gyres Institute, ACC, California Coastkeeper Alliance, CASA/BACWA/SCAP, Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, Dr. Natalie Mladenov at SDSUIn ProgressMay 2022SFEI published a synthesis of the sources and pathways of microplastics in stormwater, and developed a conceptual model for tires, fibers including cigarette filters, and single-use plastic foodware. We identified major data gaps needed to inform management and developed a diagrams to illustrate the wide range of approaches possible to mitigate pollution from these sources. SFEI is also working on estimating emissions rate of tire particles from vehicles in the US and estimating microplastic emissions from vehicles in California.
OPC, in partnership with California Sea Grant, is in the process of developing a research solicitation centered on advancing standardized methods and source attribution of microplastics statewide. It is anticipated the research solicitation will be brought before the Council for approval and public release of the competitive solicitation at the September 14, 2022 OPC meeting.
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4.1.4Create a comprehensive litter dataset to identify the most common item types according to volume, weight, flux, material, product, source, brand, and other units of importance.Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, Surfrider FoundationCalifornia Coastal Commission, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Heal the BayIn ProgressMay 2022Surfrider's cleanup database tracks both itemized data and general information, including the total count and weight of all items collected. They track 81 items, broken down by material type and/or item type. They are working to seamlessly integrate the Marine Debris Tracker with Surfrider's database to more effectively capture cleanup data from MDT users.They are also exploring options to have Surfrider's dataset more readily available to the public.
Dr. Andrew Gray's Lab has published their paper on the Trash Taxonomy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BlmRt_4iva-aTirAL9qTrSCz8VU-kelQ/view?usp=sharing
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4.1.5Work with Ocean Conservancy to capture brand data during Coastal Cleanup Day.California Coastal Commission, Heal the BayIn ProgressMay 2021We are currently in the process of opening our cleanup programs back up through a phased approached, beginning with smaller corporate cleanups before moving to larger cleanups. Last year’s Coastal Cleanup Month was a huge success and we will be spending the next 6 months carefull planning this year’s event and determining the best ways to incorporate brand audit data into this year’s event. We will be paying particular attention to any trends/changes in the data that may be attributed to the pandemic (i.e. increased in PPE or food takeout containers).
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Objective 4.2. Quantify microplastics pathways within watersheds and develop technological solutions.
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4.2.1Identify and quantify microfibers and microplastics from wastewater, stormwater, airborne, and agricultural sources.SCCWRP, SFEI5 Gyres Institute, CASA/BACWA/ SCAP, Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, Dr. Natalie Mladenov at SDSU, ESRM Program at CSUCI, The Nature ConservancyIn ProgressMay 2022OPC has funded SCCWRP, in partnership with SFEI, to conduct a microplastics in wastewater study to evaluate microplastics that enter wastewater treatment plants, are filtered, result in discharged effluent, and result in biosolid waste product.
As of Dec 2020, through completed SF Bay project, concentrations of microparticles and microplastics were measured in Bay wastewater effluent and untreated urban stormwater runoff. Stormwater was identified to be a major source of microparticles and microplastics. We have also started developing a conceptual model of tire wear particle transport to stormwater.
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4.2.2Research innovative solutions to address microfibers in textiles and apparel.CASA/BACWA/SCAP, CPSC, MaterevolveIn ProgressMay 2022As part of the Save our Seas 2.0 Act, NOAA MDP provided funding to Materevolve, who has been working closely with diverse microfiber experts in coordination with the EPA to implement the Virtual Federal Action Plan Microfiber Workshop for S0S 2.0 Report on Microfiber Pollution. This project’s activities and resulting report will benefit the public to better understand microfiber issues impacting our waterways, coasts, and sanctuaries. In planning for this project, the leads identified an updated approach to receive feedback from federal agencies as well as a needed public comment period to fulfill the Save our Seas 2.0 Act requirements.
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4.2.3Research technological solutions to address microfibers at wastewater treatment plants or in washing machines.CASA/BACWA/SCAP, MaterevolveIn ProgressMay 2021Materevolve hosted half-day virtual workshop California Microfiber Workshop: Science, Innovation & Connection in Nov. 2020. The NOAA Marine Debris Program and Materevolve published the Proceedings of the 2020 California Microfiber Workshop: https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/reports/california-microfiber-update-textile-perspective-proceedings.
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Objective 4.3. Research ecological and toxicological impacts of commonly found ocean litter on marine resources and human health
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4.3.1Advance research on the chemical components of common ocean litter items (by resin type) and the potential for pollutants to migrate into the environment and aquatic organisms via ocean litter.ACC, California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, Dr. Erika Holland at CSULB, DTSC, ESRM Program at CSUCI (including Dr. Clare Steele), Graduate School of Public Health at SDSU, UPSTREAM, CSU COASTIn ProgressMay 2022In Spring 2021, OPC's Science Advisory Team (SAT) released a risk assessment framework entitled "Assessing the Risk of Microplastic Pollution in California." SCCWRP, in partnership with the State Water Resources Control Board, has released the TOMEX data portal that includes data related to the toxicity of microplastics on aquatic and human health: https://microplastics.sccwrp.org.
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4.3.2Assess population and community-level impacts to economically important and/or especially vulnerable species from exposure to plastics and adsorbed pollutants.In ProgressMay 2022In Spring 2021, OPC's Science Advisory Team (SAT) released a risk assessment framework entitled "Assessing the Risk of Microplastic Pollution in California." The State Water Resources Control Board and SCCWRP subsequently convened an expert workshop to identity critical thresholds at which biological effects become pronounced. The workshop focused on prioritizing microplastic characteristics (size, shape, polymer) of greatest biological concern, and developed an initial, tentative set of thresholds for aquatic life. SCCWRP, in partnership with the State Water Resources Control Board, has released the TOMEX data portal that includes data related to the toxicity of microplastics on aquatic and human health: https://microplastics.sccwrp.org.
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4.3.3Research impacts to human health via direct consumption of microplastics and seafood exposed to plastic debris.ACC, California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, UPSTREAMIn ProgressMay 2022In Spring 2021, OPC's Science Advisory Team (SAT) released a risk assessment framework entitled "Assessing the Risk of Microplastic Pollution in California." SCCWRP, in partnership with the State Water Resources Control Board, has released the TOMEX data portal that includes data related to the toxicity of microplastics on aquatic and human health: https://microplastics.sccwrp.org.
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Objective 4.4. Assess the effectiveness of existing bans, policies, and programs
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4.4.1Conduct cost-benefit analyses for implementation of different common ocean litter item reduction policies/strategies and provide them to cities and businesses (i.e., local ordinances to ban expanded polystyrene, deposit schemes, packaging redesign).BASMAA, Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC RiversideNone Reported
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4.4.2Analyze the impact of the single-use plastic carryout bag ban on reducing disposable bag use, preventing ocean litter, and reducing government costs.ACC, California Coastal Commission, Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, Surfrider FoundationIn ProgressMay 2022Surfrider continues to improve and update its plastic reduction policy map. This map is the first visualization of our dataset and currently features bag, polystyrene, and straw laws. (https://www.surfrider.org/coastal-blog/entry/the-surfrider-foundation-releases-interactive-map-of-u.s-plastic-reduction-policies). The next version of Surfrider’s U.S. map will include even more policy types and details, including balloon and cigarette reduction policies.
SCCWRP's recent California Bight data has shown a significant decrease in the presence of plastic bags in Southern California watersheds between 2013 and 2018.
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4.4.3Conduct research into consumer behavior to assess attitudes toward reusable and disposable items, convenience, willingness to pay, and incentives to avoid commonly littered items (e.g., cigarette filters).Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, CPSC, Dr. Sean Anderson at CSUCI, PRCC, Save Our ShoresIn ProgressMay 2021CalPoly Students working on initial assessment for cigarette litter and styrofoam bans
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Objective 4.5. Improve coordination among California organizations conducting ocean litter research
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4.5.1Improve communication among ocean litter research entities in California through participation in the Ocean Litter Strategy implementation process.NOAA MDP, OPC, The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoCalEPA, CPSC, CA Sea GrantIn ProgressMay 2022NOAA MDP is facilitating the OLS Goal 4 Research work group. This work group meets twice a year to provide a space for communication, collaboration, and updates amongst the research community.
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4.5.2Increase dissemination of research results to the public and management agencies (e.g., California Department of Fish and Wildlife).NOAA MDPIn ProgressMay 2022As part of the CA OLS Planning Team, NOAA MDP serves as lead on the Research Goal Workgroup and organizes bi-annual webinars, research goal-based workgroup calls, and other engagement opportunities to disseminate the latest and emerging research from partners and stakeholders across the state.
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Objective 5.1. Increase formal and informal science-based education to raise awareness of ocean litter
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5.1.1Compile and share a database of existing resources and curriculum for formal education on ocean litter.NOAA MDPCompletedMay 2022Algalita, NOAA MDP, and other partners on Goal 5 actions have identified ocean litter related curriculum and toolkits and compiled them in a google document. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yaM8Og-oIPtGJ1Puf0GU4kN550xguTWPq6KzKmWZB3A/edit#gid=0
California Sea Grant in partnership with NOAA MDP are creating a database of existing resources and curriculum to host on the CASG website - pending review.
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5.1.2Integrate standards-based ocean litter curriculum into school programsAlgalita, CA Sea Grant, One Cool Earth, 5 Gyres Institute, California Coastal Commission,  Monterey Bay Aquarium, NOAA MDP, PRCC, Save Our ShoresIn ProgressMay 2022One Cool Earth provides marine debris related curriculum at 23 public schools in San Luis Obispo County. The curriculum is freely available and is correlated with Next Generation Science Standards, and currently focuses on the elementary (K-6) grade levels with the intent to expand to the 7-12th grades over the coming two years. The curriculum provides fundamental concepts related to waste lifecycles, natural systems as well as provides hands-on activities for students to understand and intervene to prevent marine debris. Curriculum is available here: https://www.onecoolearth.org/educator-resources.html
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5.1.3Develop and distribute toolkits to empower high school and college students to educate people on their campuses and in their communities.Algalita, The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoIGISc at SFSU, Monterey Bay Aquarium, NOAA MDP, PRCCIn ProgressDecember 2019Algalita and partners have completed discovery on existing student toolkits and are connecting with other groups doing similar work. Algalita plans to launch the Wayfinder Society in 2020, and the toolkits will be incorporated in to the Wayfinder Society program. SFSU has developed workshop materials that demonstrate how to work with MDMAP data in an open source software, R Studio, to build quick maps of transect data. SFSU has further developed these materials into lab exercises for a professional GIS certificate course.
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Objective 5.2. Educate consumers about the sources of ocean litter to drive behavior change in purchasing
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5.2.1Implement coastal and inland public education campaigns about common ocean litter items to drive changes in purchasing.5 Gyres Institute, California Coastal Commission, Californians Against Waste, ESRM Program at CSUCI, Heal the Bay, PRCC, Save Our Shores, Surfrider Foundation, Stand up to TrashIn ProgressMay 2022Surfrider's plastic team presented at five regional conferences on the topic of plastic pollution and solutions. They also have begun connecting plastics and mental health as a way to reach new audiences and address the serious impacts thats plastic has on human health. The plastics team has helped in the implementation and growth of Surfrider's Student Club Leadership Council.
Stand up to Trash is holding monthly beach cleanups with a Lunch and Learn program to first raise awareness of the plastic pollution and educate the public on various environmental topics that would affect there purchases.
With funding from the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association, California State Parks and the Tijuana National Estuarine Research Reserve educates the public in Southern California and Tijuana on ocean litter items.
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5.2.2Develop messaging for consumers and producers on microfibers given our current state of knowledge on this emerging issue.Californians Against Waste, CASA/BACWA/SCAP, CPSC, ESRM Program at CSUCI(not active partner-just wants to follow progress), NOAA MDP, MaterevolveCompletedMay 2021The NOAA Marine Debris Program and Materevolve published the Proceedings of the 2020 California Microfiber Workshop: https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/reports/california-microfiber-update-textile-perspective-proceedings.
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5.2.3Implement a public education campaign about cigarette filters.BASMAA, California Coastal Commission, Californians Against Waste, CPSC, Save Our Shores, UPSTREAM, Surfrider Foundation, NOAA MDPIn ProgressMay 2022Surfrider initially supported AB 1690, a bill to ban cigarette butts, cigar tips and e-cigarettes, but cigarettes and cigars were unfortunately taken out as it moved through the legislative process. Our Hold On To Your Butt campaigns organized by our chapter and student clubs are popular nationwide and continue to build awareness on this issue.
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Objective 6.1. Leverage industry knowledge to prevent lost fishing gear
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6.1.1Leverage commercial and recreational fishermen’s knowledge to develop strategies for preventing and dealing with gear loss, and share these strategies among the commercial and recreational fishing communities.NOAA MDPCalifornia Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, Channel Islands National Marine SanctuaryIn ProgressMay 2022As part of the CA OLS Planning Team, NOAA MDP serves as support on the Goal 6: Ocean-based removal and cleanup workgroup, and organizes bi-annual webinars, goal-based workgroup calls, and other engagement opportunities to disseminate and learn from the latest and relevant information to recreational and commercial fisherman in the OLS community.
The 2020+2021 California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project field work has wrapped up and the final report was submitted to the Coastal Commission. https://drive.google.com/file/d/15IrHGRq60r0Sux6DrxDlQCzv2ouz_9vi/view?usp=sharing
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6.1.2Share lessons learned from the fishing industry with management agencies and other stakeholders to focus policy and funding on prevention and recovery of lost gear.California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, The Nature ConservancyNone Reported
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6.1.3Work with the fishing community to design gear that is less likely to be lost, and less harmful to the environment once lost.None Reported
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Objective 6.2. Implement Best Management Practices (BMP) Plans for reducing lost gear within the aquaculture industry
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6.2.1Compile key outcomes desired for effective BMP Plans for the aquaculture industry through a collaborative process with, and between, growers.CDFWFGCOn HoldMarch 2021On hold at the Fish and Game Commission
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6.2.2Update Fish and Game Commission policies to include BMP Plans in permitting considerations such as the issuance of aquaculture leases, and educate growers and stakeholders about BMP Plans to help in the implementation process.CDFW, FGCNone Reported
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6.2.3Include aquaculture BMP Plan implementation California Coastal Commission requirements in coastal development permits, where appropriate.California Coastal CommissionCompletedMay 2021The Commission has been including marine debris BMPs on all of the aquaculture permits it has issued in the past several years
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Objective 6.3. Improve tracking of lost fishing and aquaculture gear in order to better understand lost gear patterns and impacts, and to facilitate removal
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6.3.1Improve lost fishing gear data collection and database systems to facilitate the prevention, tracking, and recovery of lost gear.California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, The Nature Conservancy, CSUCI / Santa Rosa Island Research StationCompletedMay 2021The Santa Rosa Island Research station at CSUCI has developed a Derelict Fishing Gear tracker that compiles and visualizes cleanup and survey efforts on the Channel Islands. Data has been submitted by the CSUCI Santa Rosa Island Research Station, Channel Islands National Park, Island Packers Cruises, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and Santa Barbara Channelkeepers. The tool is available at https://csucigis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/5a0d4704fb0544e5a406ef33ef0fa7aa.
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6.3.2Implement a pilot project to assess the effectiveness of different tagging and marking methods for aquaculture gear.None Reported
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6.3.3Include aquaculture gear marking and debris collection reporting requirements in coastal development permits, where appropriate.California Coastal CommissionCompletedMay 2021The Commission has been requiring aquaculture gear marking on all of the aquaculture permits it has issued in the past several years
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Objective 6.4. Increase the removal of ocean-based debris
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6.4.1Research and provide recommendations to overcome policy barriers to lost gear removal and ocean-based marine debris cleanup.California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, The Nature ConservancyNone Reported
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6.4.2Support and expand existing programs for the prevention and removal of abandoned or derelict vessels (e.g., expansion of recreational vessel removal, funding for removal of commercial vessels).NOAA MDPIn ProgressMay 2022With funding from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, Richardson Bay Regional Agency will be removing abandoned and derelict vessels in Richardson Bay, as well as conducting eelgrass monitoring and water bird surveying to identify the beneficial impacts of vessel removal to the habitat. With funding from the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association and the Tijuana National Estuarine Research Reserve will remove small-scale vessels that wash ashore nearby and other macro debris in the watershed.
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6.4.3Implement and/or expand voluntary buyback, return, and/or recycling programs for old and unused recreational and commercial fishing gear.California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, California State Parks Division of Boating & Waterways and California Coastal Commission, The Nature ConservancyIn ProgressMay 2022California State Parks and Coastal Commission received a grant from NOAA MDP to install an additional 50 fishing line recycling stations to expand their Boating Clean and Green Reel in and Recycle Program.
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6.4.4Implement a fishing gear recovery program, as mandated in SB 1287, for the Dungeness crab fishery. Build or expand gear recovery programs for other fisheries while considering lessons learned in the implementation of SB 1287.CDFWMonterey Bay Fisheries Trust, The Nature ConservancyIn ProgressMarch 2022The statutory requirement in SB 1287 (McGuire, 2016) for CDFW to establish this program was further amended by SB 1309 (McGuire, 2018). CDFW adopted implementing regulations establishing the Lost or Abandoned Commercial Dungeness Crab Trap Gear Retrieval Program (Section 132.7, Title 14, CCR) in September 2019, and the annual program was first implemented in 2020. Program summaries are available at https://wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/whale-safe-fisheries.
Potential expansion to other fisheries is under consideration.
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6.4.5Identify and remove, when deemed appropriate, legacy debris from California’s coastal ocean (e.g., legacy aquaculture debris, anchorage debris).NOAA MDPFGCIn ProgressMay 2022With funding from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, California State University Channel Islands is removing accumulated debris from remote beaches in Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands. From their fall 2021 trips, CSUCI Team was able to remove over 6,756 pounds with 6,702.4 lbs of debris alternatively disposed of as art and used for the university art installation. 419 acres of habitat were restored through these activities and117 individuals served through informal education. CSUCI Team recently completed two spring May 2022 scoping and monitoring trip to the islands and will be providing updates at the next progress report. With funding from the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, Global Ghost Gear Initiative/Ocean Conservancy is launching an innovative new transboundary effort, the North American Net Collection Initiative (or NANCI), to collect used and retired fishing gear for processing and recycling for use in new products.
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6.4.6Engage and partner with boaters, fishermen, divers, growers, local communities, and other ocean stakeholders to implement regional cleanup programs (e.g., in bays, ports, or harbors).Channel Islands National Marine SanctuaryCalifornia State Parks Division of Boating & Waterways and California Coastal Commission, ESRM Program at CSUCINone Reported
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6.4.7Place and maintain large receptacles at ports and harbors for fishermen to dispose of trash that has been collected while fishing.None Reported
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