Curated Session: Marine Litter

Engineering Sustainable Marine Debris Solutions (1.75 CEUs)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
9:00 – 10:45
Room 322

Moderator: Tom Sprehe, P.E., BCEE, Sr. Vice President, KCI Technologies, Inc., Maryland

Given the relatively recent introduction of non-biodegradable marine debris into the world’s oceans, and the apparent acceleration of this type of pollution as global trade increases, solid waste professionals are reminded of the importance of litter in solid waste management. Actionable projects such as debris interception and recovery of abandoned fishing gear are needed in the short term as we continue to develop a more sustainable circular economy over the long term.


Meg Morris, Vice President, Materials Management and Community affairs, Covanta Holding Corporation, New Jersey

Meg Morris

Margretta “Meg” Morris has been involved in environmental education, recycling and solid waste management for nearly 30 years. She serves as vice president, materials management and community affairs for Covanta, where she focuses on toxics reduction, recycling projects, education and community relations. She has been instrumental in growing the company’s visibility through the Fishing for Energy™ program as well as the R×4 Safety program. Prior to joining Covanta, Ms. Morris was vice president of governmental programs for EAC Operations, and earlier in her career she served as executive director of the Eastern Rensselaer County Solid Waste Management Authority. Ms. Morris, whose volunteer work reflects her professional interests, holds leadership positions on numerous nonprofit Boards, including the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center, the Go Green Initiative, the Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations and the Brewster (MA) Recycling Commission. Ms. Morris also is the immediate past president for MassRecycle and recently was awarded the Lifetime Achievement in Recycling Award from the National Recycling Coalition. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Radford College, the Women’s Division of VPI, in physical geography and has discussed most aspects of solid waste management—including waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and energy-from-waste—with audiences in the United States and Europe.

Sara Lupson, Environmental Analyst, Trash Free Waters Program, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, New York

Sara Lupson

Sara Lupson is an environmental staff analyst at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, where she works on a wide range of issues related to NYC’s municipal separate storm sewer system. As a member of the team developing NYC’s new Stormwater Management Program, Ms. Lupson contributes to programs to control floatable trash in waterways and to educate the public on stormwater pollution prevention. Prior to joining the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, Ms. Lupson worked as an advocate for a cleaner Hudson River and more sustainable infrastructure. Ms. Lupson holds a Master’s degree in engineering and public policy from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Lehigh University.

Axel Grael, Vice-Mayor, Niterói City Administration, Brazil

Axel Grael

Axel Schmidt Grael is a forestry engineer, sailor, environmentalist, and politician, with many years of experience in leading positions in the public sector in the State of Rio de Janeiro and municipal administration of the City of Niterói. He was a member at the CONAMA (National Environmental Council), the highest policy-making and regulating body in Brazil, where he represented the State of Rio de Janeiro for five years. In the private sector, Axel has worked as an environmental consultant. Highly experienced in field surveys, project development, planning, and management, he has worked in all regions of Brazil, including the Amazon region. In the NGO sector, he chaired four community grass-roots environment organizations, including Instituto Rumo Nautico, and founded and leads the “Grael Project”, an internationally recognized educational program developed around the sport of sailing and environmental education targeting kids in need.

Adam Lindquist, Director, Healthy Harbor Initiative of the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, Maryland

Adam Lindquist

Adam Lindquist grew up in upstate New York and relocated to Baltimore to attend graduate school in 2007. Adam received his Master’s in Urban and Community Planning with a focus on water resources from the University of Maryland, College Park and has worked for both the Maryland Department of Planning and the Center for Watershed Protection. He has been with the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore since 2011 where he has implemented projects designed to reconnect City residents to their marine ecosystem and restore the Baltimore Harbor. These projects include several highly visible and innovative efforts like floating wetlands, oyster gardens, rain gardens and Mr. Trash Wheel.

Julie Lawson, Executive Director and Cofounder, Trash Free Maryland

Julie Lawson

Julie Lawson is an environmental and education advocate in Washington, D.C. She is co-founder and executive director of Trash Free Maryland, a nonprofit organization that creates lasting change to prevent trash pollution. Since 2014, she has spearheaded passage of legislation to ban polystyrene foam food packaging around the D.C. Metro area, and expand public space recycling and strengthen penalties for illegal dumping in Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay Trash Trawl project identified a severe problem with microplastic pollution in the Bay and supported passage of a strong ban on microbeads in personal care products in Maryland. Julie also is a passionate advocate for the restoration of the Anacostia River, including working on a project to educate fishermen about the risks of consuming catfish contaminated by river pollution. As chair of the Washington, D.C., Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, she directed a public outreach campaign leading to passage of the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act of 2009, the first program in the U.S. to impose a fee on disposable plastic and paper bags. She is a mayoral appointee to the Chesapeake Bay Program Citizens Advisory Committee and on the Board of the PTA of Whittier Education Campus, a PreK–8 D.C. public school.