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Hawaiʻi Representation at the 6th International Marine Debris Conference

March 23, 2018

The 6th International Marine Debris Conference was held on March 12-16 in San Diego, with over 700 people from over 50 countries in attendance. Hawaiʻi had a large contingent of 28 attendees, ranging from non-profit organizations to students to researchers. Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundationʻs Natalie McKinney and Doorae Shin presented on three panels specific to KHFʻs Plastic Free Hawaiʻi program. Hawaiʻi delegation presenters shared the successes of our educational, art, recycling, research, policy, and cleanup efforts across the islands.

Other highlights from the conference included KHF co-founders Kim & Jack Johnson whose Johnson Ohana Foundation was a sponsor of the conference which included an art gallery featuring local artist Mark Cunningham and Sondra Weiss' Love Letters to the Sea. Kim spoke on a panel about corporate and social responsibility highlighting the efforts made during Jack's concerts to minimize and eliminate single-use plastics, and Jack treated the conference attendees to a mini-concert during the closing ceremony after sitting on the closing plenary. Hawaiʻi’s large representation at this global gathering indicates that our islands are on the frontlines of the plastic pollution crisis and that we are tackling solutions from all angles with a diverse group of stakeholders.