This last week it really hit me how my time is coming to a close at Sea Grant. In all the bustle following the workshop I almost forgot that I have my own little project that I have to create! I won’t say too much, but scattered between my work with Roseanne and Melissa on travel reimbursement and budget maintenance, I have been trying to pull together my thoughts about the workshop and also drawing from post-workshop documents in order to synthesize my own ideas and conclusions about the event planning process and what it meant for my own learning experience and also for the broader context of a regional response plan for JTMD-biofouling issues. In addition, I have also been working to pull documents together for a report to give to Stephen and eventually, back to the National Sea Grant office. This involves some amount of communication with people on the east coast, but it seems like nothing compared to what I have done to put together the workshop.
An interesting development since the workshop seems to be the way it has spurned action on more than the intended front. Even at the workshop it was evident that while a major reason for the workshop was to get feedback and discussion going on a few issues that key parties wanted input on, it also allowed state representatives to see what other states and agencies were doing, and able to compare actions and generate ideas. I think many took valuable lessons and ideas back to their states, especially since not all states have had to deal with ‘major’ tsunami marine debris issues like Washington, and especially Oregon has. Some of the ways this has kick-started action is visible in the Sea Grant office. Since the workshop, Stephen and the other West-Coast Sea Grant Directors had a conference call to discuss the role of the West Coast Sea Grant programs on marine debris and invasive species and the potential for another, smaller workshop that would involve 4 or 5 at the most representatives from each West Coast state. From preliminary discussion it seems a major goal would be to build off the discussion held at the workshop, with focused representation from each state. There is still much to clarify and narrow within this proposed scope, but it is a good start!