The NOAA Marine Debris Program Awards Funding to 10 New Projects to Remove Marine Debris
After an intensive evaluation process, the NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce the 10 recipients of our 2019 removal awards, totaling $1.5 million of funding toward marine debris removal efforts. Although prevention is essential in stopping marine debris at its source, removing marine debris is unfortunately necessary to address all the debris that is already out there. The NOAA Marine Debris Program offers an annual nationwide competitive funding opportunity to support projects that focus on community-based marine debris removal. These awards continue the Marine Debris Program’s commitment to develop impactful, community-driven and cost-effective projects that improve living marine resource habitats through the removal of marine debris.
This year's funded projects are:
Aleut Community of St. Paul Island (Alaska, $113,393) will remove at least 30,000 pounds of marine debris from shoreline and beach habitat. The community will also conduct shoreline monitoring in critical and sensitive habitat for marine mammals including northern fur seals, steller sea lions and harbor seals. This project is the first marine debris removal effort on Otter Island and the first effort to transport debris off St. George Island.
Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, Inc. (New York, $107,073) will remove surface marine debris in New York’s Niagara River/Lake Erie watershed, conduct river and upland clean-ups, install Reel In and Recycle monofilament bins at popular fishing sites, and host multilingual pollution prevention workshops for the City of Buffalo’s refugee community. The debris will include derelict fishing gear, single-use plastics, and other debris in the waterway.
Guam Environmental Protection Agency (Guam, $250,000), in partnership with the Guam Department of Agriculture, Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources, will remove a nearly 50-year old tire reef in the Manell-Geus Habitat Focus Area, an area widely used for recreation, fisheries, and commercial tourism. The proposed removal target - a tire reef created in the 1970's by fisheries scientists as an experiment to increase fish stocks - carries the risk of creating more debris that damages sensitive habitats and species and is a source of heavy metal contamination.
Island Trails Network (Alaska, $122,912) will remove approximately 18 tons (36,150 lbs) of marine debris from coastlines within a 1647-mile area of the Kodiak, Alaska archipelago. This project will also conduct debris monitoring using NOAA protocols and, when possible, recycle collected debris.
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (Louisiana, $169,259) will remove approximately 6000 derelict crab traps from the Pontchartrain Basin in Louisiana through a partnership with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and community volunteers. The project team will collect biological data on contents, location, and condition of traps, which will be valuable for determining the economic impact of the lost traps.
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (New York, $150,000) will remove 441,000 pounds of medium-to-large debris at two critical salt marsh sites in Queens, NY. The project consists of three components: 1) contractor removal of large to- medium debris, including at least six boats, 2) a volunteer project to remove smaller debris with approximately 25 volunteers, and 3) pre- and post-removal monitoring to assess improvements to ecosystem health and determine the need for post-removal restoration at the sites.
North Carolina Coastal Federation (North Carolina, $249,657) will evaluate and remove marine debris in North Carolina's estuaries that were hardest hit by Hurricane Florence. Additionally, they will develop best management practices for prevention, removal, and disposal of hurricane marine debris, promote resilient building codes for structures such as docks built in public trust waters, and engage stakeholders through public outreach and volunteer cleanups.
Richardson's Bay Regional Agency (California, $150,000) will remove and abate approximately 25 marine debris vessels, encourage voluntary repairs or removal of marine debris vessels from sensitive habitat, and prevent vessels from becoming marine debris. This project strives to remove more than 250 tons of marine debris, including disruptive anchor chain and toxic liquids and materials, from Richardson’s Bay in California.
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (Washington, $75,000) will inventory, remove, and repurpose (when possible) derelict fishing gear and fishing-related marine debris in the Swinomish Channel and Similk Bay, located within the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in Washington State. They will also develop and implement a prevention plan to protect the docks, keep them free of gear and debris and provide a monitoring and enforcement mechanism that will ensure that those guidelines are followed.
University of the Virgin Islands (U.S. Virgin Islands, $100,000) will remove hurricane-deposited marine debris from vulnerable mangrove shorelines in marine protected areas and NOAA Coral Reef Program Priority Areas in the U.S. Virgin Islands through a series of annual "Great Mangrove Clean-Ups". The project also builds capacity to address future marine debris challenges by developing a territorial Marine Debris Action Plan, a living policy document that will coordinate and prioritize marine debris prevention, removal, and research activities across the Territory.
Awarded Removal Projects - Archives
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