Tanya Torres completed her master’s degree in natural resources and environmental management at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2019. Her research focused on quantifying the environmental impacts of Hawaiʻi's food supply and how an increase in local food production could affect local, distant, and global environments. Tanya’s interests in waste reduction and plastic pollution led her to a permanent volunteer position with a local non-profit, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaiʻi, where she has dedicated her spare time over the past 5 years to facilitating large scale beach clean ups and leading community education and outreach throughout the state of Hawaiʻi.
Tanya is working with the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration’s Marine Debris Program, which seeks to investigate and prevent the adverse impacts of marine debris. Her work will support the Marine Debris Program’s work in California and will assist the program and the California Ocean Protection Council with the implementation of the California Ocean Litter Strategy. This Extension Fellowship has combined her two worlds of environmental research and environmental advocacy and she is excited to be involved with the work being done on marine debris here in California and at NOAA.