Removing dock debris left in the wake of Hurricane Florence, September 2018. via North Carolina Coastal Federation

USA - More Than $5.9 Mln Invested in Marine Debris Cleanup Projects

Matching grants bring total to $5.9 million for 23 projects across 18 U.S. states and territories

NOAA today announced a total of $2.7 million in grants supporting 23 projects to address the harmful effects of marine debris on wildlife, navigation safety, economic activity and ecosystem health. With the addition of non-federal matching contributions, the total investment in these marine debris projects is more than $5.9 million.

The grants, selected after a rigorous and competitive review process, are spread across 18 U.S. states and territories. Ten marine debris removal projects will receive a total of $1.3 million, while 13 prevention projects will receive a total of nearly $1.4 million.

"NOAA is the federal government's lead for addressing marine debris,” said retired Navy Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator. "These grants are going to help clean up our coastal and Great Lakes communities and further power the American blue economy by creating more attractive recreational opportunities."

Among the projects selected are the removal of 21,000 pounds of marine debris from NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; the removal of at least 20 abandoned and derelict vessels from estuaries in North Carolina; the engagement of 500 students in Michigan to become Marine Debris Prevention Ambassadors and reduce waste produced in school lunchrooms;.and the development of a recycling program for fiberglass boats in Washington State and across New England.

“Communities face the harmful effects of marine debris every day, from trash on beaches to abandoned vessels,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “The projects supported by these grants will help coastal communities to remove and prevent marine debris, ultimately protecting our coastal habitats and waterways, wildlife and the economy.”

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