Trash Talk: An Exploration of the Problem of Marine Debris and Some Virginia-Specific Solutions
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Trash Talk: An Exploration of the Problem of Marine Debris and Some Virginia-Specific Solutions

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    Marine debris is a pressing environmental problem at a local, regional, and global level. The introduction of litter into our waterways has severe consequences for human health, wildlife, the environment, and the economy. As indicated by a poll conducted by The Shelton Group in 2019, Americans’ level of awareness about the issue of plastics in the ocean was tied with their awareness about climate change.1 However, when the question was about the level of concern an individual felt about each issue, distress surrounding plastics in the ocean surpassed all others, even distress about climate change. 2 In an effort to address the problem of marine debris, the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (Virginia CZMP) undertook a planning process that resulted in the Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan (VMDRP) in 2014. In light of the policy issues raised in the VMDRP, this paper will explore the issue of marine debris and some possible solutions that can be pursued in Virginia.
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