Coastal cleanup efforts continue after NOWPAP workshop

By Edo Heinrich-Sanchez

An aerial view of debris from the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami taken on March 13, 2011, only days after the disaster. Debris fields such as this are no longer visible. (U.S. Navy photo)

It has been a busy month for NPO Okinawa O.C.E.A.N. after hosting the Okinawa NGO Asia-Pacific Environmental Forum followed by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Regional Seas Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) Workshop on Marine Litter and Int. Coastal Cleanup Campaign.

On Friday Oct. 25th the NOWPAP WS was followed by a Special Session and International Workshop on Marine Debris, Environmental Monitoring and Disaster Mitigation led by the Secretariat of the Headquarters for Ocean Policy, the Japan Cabinet Secretariat (JCS) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) in Japan.

Right after the Tsunami of March 11, 2011 the JCS

NOWPAP poster

and MOE immediately organized a “Japan Task Force” (JTF), of which our sister ICC Coordinator for Japan, Japan Environmental Action Network (JEAN) has taken a leading role along with ICC Coordinators in Alaska, Washington State, California and Hawaii.

The joint JAPAN-US marine debris simulation was presented at OIST by Dr. Toshiyuki Awaji (Vice President, Kyoto University).

After the two day NOWPAP workshop with participants from Russia, China, Korea and Japan along with US and Asia-Pacific International Coastal Cleanup Coordinators this special workshop appealed greatly to local experts.  The Okinawa International workshop aimed at reporting the current status of Japan-US joint simulations, results of the collaboration and sharing international efforts towards better response.

New applications will be considered for positive contributions to disaster response and followup. For more information please see http://www.godac.jp/en/about.html

We celebrated our 20th anniversary with cleanup of Cape Maeda to Kuraha Beach ending at Coconut Moon for refreshments and entertainment by Kalani Souza from Hawaii.  His live performance was followed by regular live show of Eddie & Mimi.

Nov. 11, the Armistice Day, will mark the opening of the My Island: My Earth Charter Project, open for comments and contributions from all participants for its planned release by Nov. 11th 2014.

Thank you to all the volunteers and participants for their contributions.

A special thanks to the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate School (OIST) for providing us with a fantastic venue for this new platform towards restoring our World Oceans health towards the 22nd Century.

From the Cape Maeda Marine Conservation Station No.1 we will continue to reach out to the world in order to create working models of sustainable coastal management for eco-system health while filling the needs of the tourist industry and the connection with our most valuable resource: vibrant and resilient seas.

The third Sunday of November will be a time to enjoy and plan for a an underwater cleanup at Cape Maeda.  Details in next weeks Japan Update. Or contact

edo@okinawaocean.org for more info.