Friday, March 1, 2013
On February 6 and 7, members of eight Sea Grant programs attended a workshop in Jacksonville, Florida to discuss strategies for reducing the amount of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the nation's waterways. This marks the first time that Sea Grant specialists, educators and communicators have come together to build a nation-wide partnership on this topic. The Keeping Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) Out of the Environment workshop was funded by the NOAA National Sea Grant Office and organized by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.
The meeting provided an opportunity for representatives from New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant to mentor others by sharing their award-winning work on reducing PPCPs in the Great Lakes basin. Since 2006, IISG has helped 63 communities in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan with single-day or permanent collection programs, ensuring the proper disposal of 9.65 million pills (81,813 pounds of unused medication). In 2010, the Sea Grant programs in Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois-Indiana and Ohio teamed up on the Undo the Great Lakes Chemical Brew project which has educated over 1 million people in the Great Lakes region about PPCPs and collected over 2.7 million pills.
The workshop opened the door for this successful regional effort to further develop into a strong national partnership. Workshop attendees from Oregon, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Southern California shared their PPCP research and education efforts to date, and the group discussed how the eight programs might work together moving forward.
If your Sea Grant Program wasn't able to participate in the workshop, it isn't too late to join the new Sea Grant PPCP working group. Just contact Laura Kammin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-333-1115 for more information.