How We’re Supporting the Marine Debris Foundation 

In April 2022, twelve individuals were competitively selected to be on the inaugural Board of Directors for a new charitable and nonprofit organization, the Marine Debris Foundation.

Now two months later, Marine Debris Foundation kicked off their very first Board meeting on June 14, 2022. The meeting, held virtually, introduced the Board Members that will help steer the Foundation towards identifying, determining sources of, assessing, reducing, and preventing marine debris and its adverse impacts on the marine environment.

Marine Debris Foundation’s Origins

Marine debris is defined as any persistent solid material manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or Great Lakes. It has swiftly become one of the most widespread pollution issues in oceans and waterways worldwide. 

In 2006, the Marine Debris Act established the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) as the federal lead on marine debris issues for the United States government. Since then, Congress has made significant amendments to refine the MDP’s mission.

One such amendment, the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, passed on December 18, 2020 established the Marine Debris Foundation to enhance the U.S.’s domestic programs and international engagement to address and prevent marine debris.

Our Role at The Ocean Foundation

To help get the Foundation off the ground, The Ocean Foundation is providing institutional support services including development and facilitation of the Marine Debris Foundation’s legal documentation and funding processes. We’ll organize and convene quarterly Board meetings that will help facilitate the appointment of officer positions; formalize headquarters and meeting locations; review grant proposals and administer awards; assist the MDF Board to hire staff members; manage branding and communications; and more. 

Over the next two years, we look forward to helping position the Marine Debris Foundation as its own independent foundation with a fully functioning Board, grant-making capabilities, and revenue sources. Thus, we can all work together towards the crucial goal of reducing global marine debris.