Stewards Targeting Ocean Problems (S.T.O.P): Zero Waste and Awareness Campaign on the Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage, Alaska

Students sorting trash.
Students sorting and counting waste generated in their school (Photo Credit: Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies)

The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies teamed up with the NOAA Marine Debris Program to build awareness of marine debris through field experiences and zero waste campaigns at local schools and businesses on the Kenai Peninsula and in Anchorage, Alaska.

Type of Project: Marine Debris Prevention through Education and Outreach Grant

Region: Alaska

Project Dates: August 2016 – September 2017

Who is involved?
With the support of a NOAA Marine Debris Program Marine Debris Prevention through Education and Outreach grant, the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies  worked with a range of local schools and businesses to implement a local zero waste campaign, which leveraged support from longtime partners in the Homer area to provide experiential learning opportunities to participants.

What is the project and why is it important?
This project targeted increased awareness and prevention of marine debris through education on the issue, participation in zero waste campaigns, and field cleanups. The zero-waste campaigns were conducted in schools across the Kenai School District and into Anchorage. Mentor teachers and classes worked to assist other classrooms and students in implementing campaigns on their campuses and classrooms, measuring the amount and type of waste they generate and identifying opportunities to make changes and reduce waste. Students were also given the opportunity to participate in cleanups at small communities on Kachemak Bay, with further remote cleanups at Gore Point and on Augustine Island.