Boater's Pledge—A Regional Campaign to Hook Fishermen and Recreational Boaters on Solutions to Solid-Waste Pollution

by Villere Reggio, Minerals Management Service, New Orleans, United States,
David Ruple, Minerals Management Service, New Orleans, United States,
Nancy Holland, Minerals Management Service, New Orleans, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93


Volunteer beach cleanups along the coast of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico over the last years have resulted in removal of anthropogenic trash loads with a cumulative weight of more than a ton per mile. Working through the Gulf of Mexico Program, a Marine Debris Action Plan was developed by public and private representatives from the five Gulf States to encourage cooperation and support from specific marine user groups associated with the Gulf's solid-waste pollution problem. State and Federal laws prohibit disposal of solid waste in coastal and marine waters, yet punitive controls have had little obvious effect on disposal habits of many marine fishermen and recreational boaters. A strategy devised and promoted through the Gulf of Mexico Program is a project called Boater's Pledge for a Clean Gulf. It was designed to elicit a personal stewardship commitment from fishermen and small boat owners throughout the Gulf region. Through the Gulf Program's Marine Debris Subcommittee a standard pledge statement and a decal were developed to maintain a semblance of uniformity and unanimity in regional implementation of the project.Besides describing the project concept and its progress to date, this paper reviews the various methods and materials used by the Gulf of Mexico Program office, participating Gulf States, and others to reach and influence disposal habits of coastal and marine boaters and fishermen. This is one of many projects being promoted as part of the Year of the Gulf celebration.

Subject Headings: Recreation | Solid wastes | Pollution | Water pollution | Beaches | Ecological restoration | Water-based recreation | Project management | Gulf of Mexico

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