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Not Just Talking Trash: Marine Debris and What We Can Do About It!

Marine debris, or trash in the ocean or Great Lakes, is one of the greatest pollution problems facing our waters today. Debris can harm wildlife and their habitats, become a hazard to navigation, and even impact the economy and human health. Unfortunately, this global issue comes from one source: people. But thankfully, that means that people have the ultimate power to be the solution to the problem! Marine debris can be a difficult issue to talk about without starting to feel overwhelmed and hopeless, and so the secret to empowering people to become marine debris stewards is focusing on the hopeful side of the issue. Learn how to talk about and connect to the problem of marine debris, what resources are out there to help you, what we’re still learning, and how to get involved in the solution. Everyone can be part of addressing this problem and figuring out where to start is the first step.

Krista Stegemann
Krista Stegemann

When this presentation was given, Krista Stegemann was the Communications and Education Specialist for NOAA's Marine Debris Program. Krista has a background in both marine biology and education. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Marine & Freshwater Biology at the University of New Hampshire, after which she worked as the founding fifth-grade science teacher at an inner-city charter school in Little Rock, Arkansas. Following teaching, she earned her Master’s degree in marine biology from James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, where she spent her time conducting marine ecological research and educating the general public at a local aquarium. Krista was with the NOAA Marine Debris Program from 2015 through 2018, where she focused on preventing marine debris through communication, education, and outreach.