My policy analysis question was as follows: What are some ways to reduce marine plastic pollution in the Monterey Bay?
Achieving this goal is important to me because I care deeply about the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary and feel that it is vital that we protect the organisms that live within it. At the end of my policy analysis I chose to recommend the implementation of a county wide plastic bag ban in our area. I feel that this policy option is what is best for both the environment and the citizens in this area that depend on it.
Through volunteering with the Surfrider Foundation Monterey Chapter, I have learned a lot about the importance of cutting down on single-use plastics. I feel it is important to educate the public and to work towards implementing laws in our area to prevent plastic pollution from entering our the Monterey Bay. In the future I hope to work with businesses, as an environmental consultant, to cut down on pollutants that enter the environment; therefore this policy analysis was a great way to learn about what it takes to put a stop to specific pollutants.
Working on this policy analysis truly strengthened my critical thinking abilities. During my research, I focused on comprehensively exploring the issues at hand without viewing them with bias. This allowed me to view all stakeholders’ claims with an open mind first, before formulating an opinion or recommendation. I spent a decent amount of time questioning all of my sources, even if they were from experts. This policy analysis also strengthened my ability to provide information to my reader without including my own personal bias in my writing. Although my research did not sway my initial viewpoint (I initially felt that a countywide bag ban would be beneficial), it allowed me to learn more about the people who depend on plastic bags in their daily routines and how we could mitigate any issues they would encounter if a bag ban were to take place. If I could do this policy analysis over again, I would try to spend more time interviewing members in the community about their viewpoints on plastic bag bans that way I could have a better understanding of how the community (as a whole) feels about this type of ban.