Surfrider Oregon – Rise Above Plastic Pollution

Rise Above Plastic Pollution

In recent years, the issue of marine debris has gained significant worldwide attention, and legislative, educational, and management strategies have been developed to address impacts from certain types of marine debris: plastic bag bans, microbead bans, and cigarette abatement programs. However, thousands of plastic items, mostly single-use food packaging such as bottle caps, bottles, and plastic straws, are removed from Oregon beaches each year.

Oregon Surfrider Foundation, together with SOLVE, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, and Oregon House Representative David Gomberg led a statewide campaign to engage the Oregon public, businesses and the legislature to reduce the amount of single-use plastic items in Oregon. With support from NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, they engaged citizens, students, and businesses in a coordinated campaign to avoid consuming single-use plastics. The campaign culminated in a one day push to collect social media testimonies of refusing single-use plastics, called “Rise Above Plastics Day.” Root Solutions was brought on to develop the language and logistics for a “Rise Above Plastics” pledge (a commitment campaign) as well as to create social media toolkits for Surfrider Oregon and for their campaign partners. We also developed pre- and post-campaign surveys to assist in measurement of both attitude toward single use plastics and behavioral changes.

The Oregon Surfrider chapter serves as the first response to local threats in Oregon’s coastal communities. As a chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, they are dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches for all people. They collaborate on both the local and national level fighting for plastic reduction, ocean protection, beach access, coast & climate, and clean water.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program is the U.S. Federal government’s lead for addressing marine debris. With a mission to investigate and prevent the adverse impacts of marine debris, NOAA operates through six main pillars: Prevention, Removal, Research, Monitoring and Detection, Response, and Coordination. Since its inception, NOAA has strived to help find solutions to the marine debris problem and envisions the global ocean and its coast free from the impacts of marine debris.