The NOAA Marine Debris Program Awards Funding to 13 New Projects to Prevent Marine Debris
After a highly competitive review process, the NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce the 13 recipients of our 2020 prevention awards, totaling nearly $1.4 million of funding toward marine debris prevention efforts. Prevention is the ultimate solution to marine debris. In order to tackle this pervasive problem, we must stop it at its source. The NOAA Marine Debris Program offers a nationwide competitive funding opportunity to support projects that focus on preventing marine debris through behavior change, implementing new marine debris reduction and prevention activities, and conducting public outreach and education in their communities. These projects will educate the public to encourage behaviors that reduce marine debris in coastal communities throughout the United States.
This year’s projects are:
Eckerd College, Inc. (Florida, $149,928) will reduce single-use plastic consumption among undergraduates at both Eckerd College and University of North Florida by increasing individual accountability and commitments to long-term sustainable behaviors. The project will implement an easy-to-use Plastic Reduction Challenge mobile application, as well as broader education and outreach initiatives, to foster sustained individual behavioral change that results in long-term and widespread reductions in plastic consumption.
Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan (Michigan, $50,000) will engage 500 youth from grades 3-12 to become Marine Debris Prevention Ambassadors and reduce waste produced in school lunchrooms. Teachers and their students will participate in shoreline cleanups, research and analyze their lunchroom waste, and present their findings and solutions to peers, teachers, administrators, and the school board.
Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) Foundation (Washington, Rhode Island, $105,452) will build a sustainable financial model for fiberglass boat recycling and assist Washington and states in the New England region in replicating the Rhode Island Fiberglass Boat Recycling Program in their respective states. The project will also develop educational tools and engage regional and national marine industry organizations and businesses to promote awareness of and participation in the creation of proactive, long-term solutions to prevent pollution, habitat destruction, and navigation impediments related to marine debris resulting from abandoned, derelict, storm-wrecked and end-of-life boats.
Zero Waste O‘ahu (Hawaii, $146,890) will reduce marine debris from single-use plastic take-out containers by providing a subscription service for reusable containers. This Full Cycle Take-Out pilot project will save businesses money by eliminating the recurring expense of purchasing single-use food ware and generate a profit through the lease of containers.
Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of Arizona State University (American Samoa, $85,660) will identify and implement culturally appropriate and sustainable alternatives to plastic clamshell and foam take-out food containers, plastic cups, and plastic carrier bags in at least eight local food establishments and convenience stores in American Samoa. The project will also initiate long-term behavioral change through intensive community outreach and media campaigns, and the implementation of a new “plastic-free food provider” recognition program for businesses and community groups.
Salem Sound 2000, Inc. (Massachusetts, $136,846) will work with Girls Inc., and Salem Public Schools to recruit and work with groups of high school interns in Salem and Lynn, Massachusetts to execute service projects that approach the marine debris problem and the community’s reliance on single-use plastics. Students will work with the CoastSmart Restaurant Campaign to get restaurants to offer more sustainable products, while other students will produce a Composting 101 Video with restaurant owners and create a Plastic Reduction Advertisement Campaign focused on commuters.
Mobile Baykeeper, Inc. (Alabama, $149,715) will work with 18 businesses to go plastic-free, supporting the Downtown Mobile Alliance’s Clean, Safe, and Beautiful program. Participating local restaurants, businesses, and government agencies will reduce single-use plastics, educate their customers, and install public art about the problem of marine debris. The project will reduce plastic generated in the Downtown Mobile Business area by more than 1,000 pounds per year and support long-term prevention of marine debris.
Aleut Community of St. Paul Island (Alaska, $74,983) will change behaviors around the use and disposal of packing bands to prevent marine debris that poses an entanglement threat to marine wildlife on St. Paul Island, Alaska, particularly northern fur seals. It will include a localized campaign to cut plastic packing band loops prior to disposal, volunteer data collection, and the creation of messages to encourage industry to invest in environmentally friendly materials and cut their loops.
George Mason University (Virginia, $149,999) will work with 20 teachers and 35 high school student delegates to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles by students at two high schools in Prince William County, Virginia. The project will raise awareness of and connect participants to the ecological impacts of marine debris, expand participation in cleanup efforts, and change behaviors related to disposable water bottles.
Zero Waste Washington (Washington, $98,475) will implement a youth-led education project to reduce barriers to plastic pollution reduction and waste prevention in the Duwamish River area of Washington State. The project will engage three cohorts of the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps to conduct peer and community outreach, including door-to-door outreach to businesses, creating and presenting videos, and developing recommendations for decision-makers.
North Slope Borough (Alaska, $92,183) will educate students and residents of the North Slope Borough about debris in the marine and coastal environment, focusing on how to prevent single-use plastics from the local communities. Education efforts will include raising awareness of local problems with marine debris being found in stomachs of bowhead whales, polar bears, and other marine organisms, as well as encouraging and supporting the use of alternatives to single-use plastics , and host beach cleanup events in each local community.
One Cool Earth (California, $60,000) will work with public schools to reach youth and affect their waste-disposal behaviors. The Earth Genius program will provide year-round marine debris education to underserved public school students, promote school-wide waste diversion and reduction policies and practices, and train and support teachers in order to reduce marine debris affecting NOAA trust resources, including the Channel Islands and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries, the Morro Bay National Estuary, and the fisheries and recreation areas along the central coast of California.
Shedd Aquarium Society (Illinois, $72,177) will work with businesses to measurably reduce single-use plastics used in food service industry operations by building capacity and skills in Chicago communities. The project will work with minority and women-owned businesses and small businesses to change business practices, educate staff and customers, and support business leaders in adopting new sustainability efforts.
Awarded Prevention Projects - Archives
Click the bars below to view projects financed in that year.