Sewage Series Banner 2021

Sewage is the largest contributor to coastal pollution. And yet, few people are talking about ocean sewage pollution. During this new series of online activities and events, we discussed and demystified this massive ocean issue and innovative approaches being used to address it. More information can be found in our Wastewater Pollution Toolkit.

Explore Ocean Sewage Series webinar recordings:

  • Addressing the Threat of Ocean Sewage Pollution – Dr. Stephanie Wear of The Nature Conservancy kicked off the series with an overview of sewage impacts on the environment, coral reefs, and coastal communities, and makes the case for why we need to act now to mitigate ocean sewage pollution.
  • Wastewater 101 – Christopher Clapp of The Nature Conservancy provided an introduction to the basics of wastewater, including an overview of terminology, how septic systems work (and fail), and how wastewater is managed, treated, and discharged into our oceans directly and indirectly.
  • Long Island Sewage Story Part I & Part II – Stuart Lowrie and Christopher Clapp of The Nature Conservancy told the tale of a 10-year effort to tackle the daunting nitrogen pollution issue on Long Island, New York and shift the paradigm in water management.
  • Understanding Sewage Impacts in Hawai‘i – Reef managers and scientists in Hawai'i shared about ways to uncover and understand what is in our water.
  • Sewage Mitigation Projects from Around the World – A panel of experts shared innovative and community-related sewage mitigation solutions in Africa, Latin America, and the U.S.
  • Applying Behavioral Insights to Sewage Pollution – Katie Velasco from Rare’s Center for Behavior & the Environment explained why we need behaviorally-informed solutions to address the problem of ocean sewage pollution.
  • How Working with the Sanitation Sector Can Improve Reef Health - A panel of experts from the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) sector introduced us to their interdisciplinary work, which aims to protect public health and the environment. We learned how their goals complement ours and about ways to collaborate with the WASH sector to reduce sewage pollution and improve reef health.
  • Solutions for Wastewater Pollution Video Podcast - Carlos García of The Nature Conservancy discussed using constructed wetlands in the Dominican Republic to provide wastewater treatment. Taber Hand, from Wetlands Work, explained the development and implementation of HandyPods, a container-based system created to serve floating villages or floodplains.
  • Climate Tradeoffs of Wastewater Management Strategies - Sarah Cashman and Dr. Andrew Henderson of ERG discussed the high-level tradeoffs associated with different wastewater treatment solutions that may benefit the climate, environment, and public health, specifically looking at how management strategies perform in relation to pathogens, greenhouse gases, marine eutrophication, and ocean acidification.
  • Ocean Wastewater Pollution Learning Exchange - Experts shared about water quality monitoring, strategic communications, and nature-based solutions for wastewater management. Attendees asked questions and shared their successes and challenges with wastewater pollution management during this interactive session.
  • Addressing Wastewater Pollution: A Step-by-Step Guide for Conservation and Sanitation Practitioners - Dr. Amelia Wenger, lead author of A Guide for Integrated Conservation and Sanitation Programs and Approaches, discussed the guide’s diagnostic tool to help managers better understand their systems, create the enabling conditions needed to mitigate wastewater pollution, and identify and form productive, multi-sectoral partnerships.

Wastewater Pollution Online Course

The Wastewater Pollution Online Course is designed to help marine managers understand how wastewater pollution threatens ocean and human health and what strategies and solutions are available to mitigate wastewater pollution in the ocean. This self-paced online course incorporates new science, case studies, and management practices described in the Wastewater Pollution Toolkit.

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