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Virginia CZM Program: 2018 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:VA Coastal Zone Management Program Logo



Longwood University - Clean Virginia Waterways

Project Title:

Virginia's Marine Debris Reduction Plan Refinement

Project Description:

This task supports the VA CZM Program’s leadership in reducing the amount of trash & marine debris from land-based & water-based sources in Virginia through further implementation of the Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan (VMDRP), coordinating a regional Marine Debris Summit, and monitoring balloon-related debris on five remote Virginia beaches.

The VMDRP outlines politically, socially & economically feasible strategies & actions that will lead to prevention, interception, innovation & removal of marine debris for ecological, social & economic benefits. This grant will support refinement & continued implementation of the VMDRP. Staff from CZM & Clean Virginia Waterways (CVW) will engage local, state & federal stakeholders (government & NGOs) in Virginia & work with NOAA’s Marine Debris Program on regional solutions. In addition, CVW staff will continue to assist in the development & implementation of a marine debris reduction strategy that will coordinated by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body’s Marine Debris Work Group (which is co-led by Virginia CZM & EPA). This Work Group is currently awaiting a decision on a grant award from NOAA’s Marine Debris Program regarding expanding the “Joyful Send-off” campaign (developed in Virginia in 2015-2017) into the Mid-Atlantic states.

Building the capacity of partners to reduce the sources of marine debris is a priority of the VMDRP. This grant will allow CZM and CVW to further build capacity to support ongoing waste source reduction efforts, facilitate collaboration, and encourage the transfer of knowledge about successful marine debris prevention programs, policies & campaigns. Transfer of knowledge will also be accomplished through updating the CZM & CVW websites, CVW’s Facebook page & other social media and presentations at workshops and conferences. Marine debris projects underway in Virginia will also be included on NOAA’s new marine debris portal for the Mid-Atlantic.

This grant will allow CZM & CVW to further disseminate the multi-media materials that were developed as part of the social marketing campaign entitled A Rising Concern: Reducing Balloon Release & Debris through a Social Marketing Campaign. These materials were produced for wedding planners & venues (e.g., places where weddings & celebrations are held) and will continue to be distributed via mail, digitally & through social media to facilitate social diffusion of the message. Since this social marketing campaign was designed to be transferable, CZM & CVW will share the work plan & results with other regions. By adapting materials from the social marketing campaign, universities will be engaged to prevent balloon litter.

Recycling solutions for used clam nets on Virginia’s Eastern Shore will be implemented if economically feasible.

Finally, this Virginia CZM Program grant will allow for the planning and execution of the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Summit to be held in May or June 2019. The 1st and 2nd Virginia Marine Debris Summits (supported by FY11 and FY15 grants), were valuable forums for experts in marine debris, litter prevention, and related fields to continue discussions, exchange research outcomes, build collaboration, and generate new ideas. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body’s Marine Debris Work Group supported the idea of having a regional summit instead of it being Virginia-only.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Katie Register, 434.395.2602,

Project Status:

10/1/18 - 9/30/19; Project Open

Final Product:


Project Summary:


Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or email:

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to or

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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