Fighting for Trash Free Seas®

Ending the flow of trash at the source

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Supporting Vietnam in the Fight Against Ocean Plastic Pollution

Learn how Ocean Conservancy is partnering with Vietnam to strengthen its efforts to combat marine debris

Water connects us. The lake, river or stream near your home is part of a vast network that connects you to communities hundreds of thousands of miles away. Part of the magnificence of the ocean is the fact that it is something we all share. The water we look out at in California is part of the same vast body of water people look out at in Vietnam.

Looking out over the water is easy to do in Vietnam. The beautiful country has more than 2,100 miles of coastline fed by more than 2,000 rivers that thread through the country. Vietnam’s rivers and seas play an important role in the health and wellbeing of the communities that depend on them. They are also home to a diversity of marine life such as the gentle dugong, captivating green sea turtles, and a variety of birds, crabs, oysters and more.

Unfortunately, this incredible tapestry of rivers and ocean are sadly facing an all too familiar threat. Vietnam is among the countries most impacted by plastic pollution. We’re teaming up with local partners in Vietnam in the fight for trash free seas. As our ocean connects us, so does the need for solutions to protect it.

The Problem

A Dire Threat to Our Ocean

We know that the plastic pollution crisis is a dire threat to our ocean. Scientists estimate that 11 million metric tons of plastics enter the ocean each year and that this number could triple by 2040 without drastic action. The ocean and the network of rivers that flow into it are the lifeblood of Vietnam and together we can find solutions to protect these incredible ecosystems.

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© Centre for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD)

The Solution

Teaming Up for a Healthier Ocean

Ocean Conservancy is delighted to work with local partners to build upon Vietnam’s bold vision to combat plastic pollution. The government of Vietnam is highly committed to tackling this problem. They’ve created a national plan of action to keep trash out of the ocean. We’re working collaboratively  to accelerate their efforts for a healthy ocean.

We are engaging local researchers and top international scientists to provide the groundwork for data-driven policy. By helping to identify the largest sources of plastic pollution, trends in plastics use and ways people dispose of trash, we can help find the best solutions that meet local needs. Local community solutions will make a big difference as Vietnam tackles the problem of plastic pollution.

Our collaboration with Vietnam also extends to the local level. We are working with the city of Can Tho as part of our Urban Ocean initiative, a platform to help city leaders come up with innovative solutions to tackle their plastic waste challenges. Working with cities to improve trash collection and management not only helps keep plastics out of the ocean, it improves the city’s health and economic wellbeing.

We are also working with local partners to build and install five trash trappers along the Red River, the second-longest river in Vietnam and home to critical wetland habitats. These trash trappers ensure the river, and ultimately our ocean, are free of garbage by catching and removing much of the trash that flows by. These innovative devices are locally designed, sourced, built and maintained. In addition to cleaning up trash flowing in the river, they will also help fuel research and efforts to reduce plastic on land.

Resources

Baseline Assessment Training for Conducting Debris Survey

This is a training session video about protocols for conducting debris surveys in the Red River in Vietnam which can also be used and adapted for research in other rivers within the country and worldwide. The main objectives of this training video is to:

  1. Develop a method and use it to conduct a baseline study of anthropogenic debris along the Red River
  2. Use the protocol developed to quantify and characterize anthropogenic debris along the shorelines of the Red River in three locations upstream and downstream of future trash capture devices

More Information

Enough is Enough. End New Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

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