The North Carolina Marine Debris Symposium is an annual event that provides a collaborative forum for the exchange of information on recent research, infrastructure best management practices, policy development, removal projects, and advocacy that prevents plastic pollution. 

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2022 NC Marine Debris Symposium,

October 12-14th, at the

Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, NC.  

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Click here for the NCMDS 2022 Agenda

The North Carolina Marine Debris Symposium celebrates 10 years 

of collaborative plastic pollution research, policy development, and prioritized prevention solutions.

The 2022 NC Marine Debris Symposium will be held October 12-14th at the Duke University Marine Laboratory on Pivers Island, Beaufort, NC.

Who should Attend this year’s event:

  • Local Government Decision Makers
  • Solid Waste, Waste Reduction Managers
  • Public Health Managers
  • Fisheries Representatives
  • Non-government Organizations
  • Researchers
  • Volunteers and Advocates
  • Business Owners
  • Tourism Managers

The North Carolina Marine Debris Symposium is an annual event that provides a collaborative forum for the exchange of information on recent research, infrastructure best management practices, policy development, removal projects, and advocacy that prevents plastic pollution. 

Join marine debris and plastic pollution prevention stakeholders from all over North Carolina for three days of collaboration, networking, and solution development.   

Marine debris is a problem that continues to grow.  Our waterways and oceans are constantly polluted with a wide variety of marine debris ranging from polystyrene trays and plastic bags to derelict fishing equipment and abandoned boats.  

During the 2021-22 Coastal Carolina Riverwatch Water Quality for Fisheries Program, plastic pollution was identified as one of the top five water quality impacts by those who fish at the coast of NC.

Plastic pollution has received a significant amount of media attention in the last few years, but there is still a dire need to establish regulatory policies and implement effective infrastructure in order to mitigate the harmful impacts of plastics on aquatic ecosystems.  


At CCRW, we prioritize work based on research and voices from the community.  Plastic pollution is a top priority for our service area and CCRW has taken action by participating in watershed-based microplastic research, installation of capture and removal devices, supporting collaborative programming in our service area, and facilitating prioritized policy development and advocacy that supports research and prevention.  

We are thrilled to be hosting the NC Marine Debris Symposium at the Duke University Marine Laboratory here in coastal NC. We hope that this forum will continue to lead the progress of marine debris prevention in the State of North Carolina.”  – Lisa Rider, NCMDS creator, and CCRW Executive Director 

The NC Marine Debris Symposium is a special collaborative space where all are welcome and everyone is a stakeholder.” – Bonnie Monteleone, Plastic Ocean Project

Speakers on this year’s agenda include leaders from the following organizations: Plastic Ocean Project, Duke University Marine Lab, NC State University and NC Sea Grant, Duke Law and Policy Clinic, NC Coastal Federation, UNC-Chapel Hill, Coastal Carolina Riverwatch, NC State University, and others including industry and consumer product designers. 

This year’s event will be facilitated by the fun and energetic NCMDS alumni, Heather Cashwell, Program Manager of Waste Reduction and Recycling NCSU. 

NCMDS 2022 Speaker Highlights

Water Quality for Fisheries: Plastic Pollution Video 


Thank you for joining CCRW, and plastic pollution prevention stakeholders, for the  NC Plastic Policy Workshop, presented by Coastal Carolina Riverwatch, Duke University Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, and NC Marine Debris Symposium.

North Carolina Plastic Policy Workshop

This event was held on April 29, 2022.

Attendees heard from plastic policy experts in North Carolina and learn how local government planners, solid waste representatives, and local elected officials can help create change.  Attendees also, worked with colleagues to develop take-away resolutions to be used in your communities.  Let us know how your community is benefiting from plastic pollution policies or if you would like to hear more about plastic pollution policies by emailing LisaR@coastalcarolinariverwatch.org 

Link to Agenda

NC Plastic Policy Tool Kit  2022.04.28_ELPC Policy Packet_NL (1) (1)

Any questions can be directed to Lisa Rider, Coastal Carolina Riverwatch Executive Director and NCMDS Coordinator:

LisaR@coastalcarolinariverwatch.org