Hilo Symposium on Marine Debris & Tsunami Driftage

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund (HWF) & World Ocean Collective (WOC) are excited to announce their upcoming symposium in Hilo, Hawai‘i. The 2015 Hilo Symposium on Marine Debris & Tsunami Driftage:

Dialogue on marine debris removal, prevention, disaster recovery and making connections around the North Pacific. It will take place from December 3rd to 5th, 2015 at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)’s Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in downtown Hilo.

Tsunami Boat in Kahana Bay

This international symposium will be a 2-day endeavor, followed by an optional beach cleanup event hosted by HWF at Kamilo Point, Ka’ū District, Hawai’i Island on the 3rd day (Saturday, Dec. 5).

HWF will work together with local marine debris partners (including Surfrider Foundation, Kōkua Hawaii Foundation, Sustainable Coastlines, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, and DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources), groups from the Pacific Northwest (Washington CoastSavers, SOLVE Oregon, Lion’s Club Int’l), and Japan (Japan Environmental Action Network “JEAN”, Sea Beautification Society) to achieve the following goals:

The underlying purpose of these events is to work with local and int’l government and non-profit partners from around the North Pacific to:

  • Share effective recovery and removal techniques
  • Spread the word about tsunami and disaster preparedness
  • Share updates and new information about ongoing marine debris prevention work
  • Make connections and work together to reduce the amount of marine debris in our world’s oceans and waterways.

Working with members of the international marine debris removal community, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund and the newly formed World Ocean Collection would like to showcase the work of non-profit and agency partners around the Pacific shorelines (Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Hawaiʻi, Japan) that has been accomplished in response to the March 11th, 2011 earthquake and tsunami tragedy in East Japan.

HWF and WOC will use the tsunami driftage articles that have washed ashore in the Pacific Basin as a stimulus for discussions on marine debris removal and prevention, including the new international connections that have been formed via the returning of personal belongings and holding international symposia.  JEAN organized a similar meeting in Honolulu (Jan 2012) and more recently in Vancouver, British Columbia (Oct 2014) and Natori, Japan (Nov 2014).

“We are looking forward to a productive time with our partners in the field of marine debris recovery”, said Hannah Bernard, HWF Executive Director. “This global problem is one that can only be solved by global cooperation and we are proud that Megan Lamson, our Marine Debris Project Coordinator has initiated the first such symposium wholly sponsored by a Hawaiʻi- based non profit”.

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