Marine Litter: Solutions for Monitoring, Mitigation and Prevention,
September 27, 2022, Brest, France

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Towards Mitigation of Marine Litter: Increasing Social Capital Through an Ecosystem of Virtual Community Centers for Marine Litter

Hans-Peter Plag(1)(2)(3)

(1) Department of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA (2) Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA (3) Tiwah UG, Rossbach, Germany

Marine litter poses a growing threat to the marine biosphere and, through contamination of marine food sources, also to human health. Many efforts are under way to monitor and understand the impacts of marine debris, but the many stakeholders are not well connected. Existing social media and newly developing platforms are limited in cross-sectoral community support. The "Place For Us" platform hosts community designed, governed and maintained Virtual Community Centers (VCCs). VCCs include exhibition halls with booths of the partner organizations, classrooms for lectures and courses, places to meet experts, an "envigym" to exercise and extent literacy and knowledge, chat rooms to have conversations about specific topics, a citizen science space to become a citizen scientist and participate in citizen science projects, and a newsroom for news relevant to the community. The experiences offered to the participants in the virtual communities are build around five pillars: environmental and sustainability literacy skills; skills in modeling, simulation and visualization from large data sets; storytelling with narrative skills; community advocacy skills, and insight into environmental justice. Developing a global ecosystems of linked and interconnected VCCs focusing on marine litter and its sources from small local communities to regional, national and international levels will for the first time offer a means for all stakeholders in marine litter to interact and tackle the challenge together.

Type of contribution: Presentation.

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