Register appointed to Litter and Recycling Board

Published 8:34 am Saturday, January 15, 2022

Katie Register of Farmville was appointed to the Virginia Litter Control and Recycling Fund Advisory Board by Governor Ralph Northam according to a Jan. 8 media release. Register is executive director of Clean Virginia Waterways (a program of Longwood University), and has worked extensively on litter and marine debris prevention for more than 25 years.

Register’s research and projects have focused on the main types of plastic pollution in our rivers and oceans including single-use food- and beverage-related packaging. Her master’s thesis from George Mason University examined the toxic impacts of the #1 type of litter in Virginia: cigarette butts.

Register, in collaboration with the Virginia Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program, wrote the 2021-2025 Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan which outlines 60 strategic, definitive actions to reduce debris in Virginia’s coastal waterways and the Atlantic Ocean. The 2021-2025 Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan, funded by the Virginia CZM Program through grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also provides a roadmap and common framework for collaboration that will lead to less fishing gear, microplastics, and abandoned boats in Virginia’s environment.

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Her groundbreaking research on the sources, impacts and solutions to single-use plastics (including cigarette butts, bottles, bags and balloons as litter) has led her to collaborations with the National Geographic Society, NOAA, Environmental Protection Agency, Keep America Beautiful and several businesses.

“Katie has been a passionate leader in reducing the flow of plastic and other litter into Virginia’s coastal waters,” said Laura McKay, Manager of the Virginia CZM Program and co-author of the Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan. “We are delighted that she will be sharing her extensive knowledge and experience in shaping future litter prevention in the Commonwealth,” McKay continued.


Clean Virginia Waterways (CVW) of Longwood University is a statewide organization dedicated to decreasing plastic pollution, litter and marine debris through research, cleanup events and building collaborations. Since 1995, more than 122,000 volunteers have removed 5 million pounds of debris from Virginia’s rivers and beaches during CVW’s annual cleanups that are held in September and October. CVW, funded through grants, gifts, sponsorships and workshop fees, has been on the Longwood University campus since 1999. CVW is also affiliated with Ocean Conservancy.