Erica Nuñez

Head of Plastics Initiative

Focal Point: Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution, UNEP, Basel Convention, SAICM

Erica serves as technical programmatic lead to manage The Ocean Foundation’s scientific and policy activities related to combating the global challenge of coastal and ocean plastic pollution. This includes overseeing TOF’s Plastics Initiative. Her responsibilities include new business development, fundraising, program implementation, financial management, and stakeholder engagement, among other duties. She represents TOF at relevant meetings, conferences, and events to elevate TOF’s profile among domestic and international supporters and collaborators.

Erica has over 16 years of experience working to protect our ocean. Thirteen of those years were spent working for the federal government at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). During her last position at NOAA as an International Affairs Specialist, Erica served as the lead on international marine debris issues, UNEP, in addition to being the U.S. Focal Point for the SPAW Protocol of the Cartagena Convention and a U.S. delegation member to the UNEA Ad Hoc Open-Ended Expert Group on marine litter and microplastics, among other duties. In 2019, Erica left federal work to focus her career on ending plastic pollution and joined Ocean Conservancy as part of their Trash Free Seas Program. There she focused on domestic and international plastics’ policy matters related to reducing and preventing plastic marine debris from entering the ocean. While at Ocean Conservancy, she was a core team member that developed the Plastic’s Policy Playbook: Strategies for a Plastic-Free Ocean, a guidebook for policy makers and relevant stakeholders on plastic policy solutions. She represented the organization at meetings of the UN Environment Programme, Basel Convention and was project lead for a major funder based in Mexico. In addition to her duties, she also served as Chair of the organization’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion task force, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Marine Debris Foundation.

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