The NOAA Marine Debris Program Awards Funding to 10 New Projects to Remove Marine Debris
After a highly competitive review process, the NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce the 10 recipients of our 2020 removal awards, totaling $1.3 million of funding toward marine debris removal efforts. Although prevention is essential in stopping marine debris at its source, removing marine debris is also 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 projects are:
California State University, Channel Islands (California, $112,499) will remove marine debris from seven remote beaches in the Northern Channel Islands and monitor the accumulation of debris in order to create a longer-term data set. The sustained reduction in marine debris will benefit marine life in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, including California sea lions, northern fur seals, harbor seals, northern elephant seals, Western snowy plover, shorebirds, and the endangered island fox, and the habitats upon which they depend.
Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program, Inc. (Texas, $104,931) will organize volunteers to locate and remove over 1,000 derelict crab traps in coastal waters from Matagorda Bay to Aransas Bay, as well as collect data to better understand the impacts of derelict crab traps on the mid-Texas coast. Results will be used to engage commercial crabbers in San Antonio Bay in conversations to develop alternatives for reducing the number of lost traps, ultimately reducing the amount of ghost fishing and potential economic losses.
Hawaii Marine Mammal Alliance, Inc. (Hawaii, $52,000) will identify and remove debris from hotspots in nearshore waters of O‘ahu with the help of snorkel and SCUBA divers. The project will engage community volunteers and encourage ocean stewardship in schools and at community events, while reducing the negative impacts of marine debris, in particular derelict fishing gear, on protected marine species and the ecosystem they inhabit in Hawaii.
Oregon State Marine Board (Oregon, $50,000) will remove abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs) from marinas while they are still securely moored and afloat. Removing ADVs at no cost to marinas that agree to implement ADV-prevention practices as part of the voluntary Clean Marina program is a cost-effective removal strategy that will address the environmental and navigational hazards, as well as the financial burden associated with future abandoned and derelict vessels.
National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (Florida, $134,928) will work with Blue Star operators, dive professionals, recreational divers, and other local partners, such as the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association, to remove underwater marine debris, including traps, fishing gear, and trash from Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The project will engage the public in marine debris awareness and prevention through education and outreach and expects to conduct 70 cleanup trips, removing 21,000 pounds of debris.
North Carolina Coastal Federation, Inc. (North Carolina, $121,090) will remove at least 20 abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs) in North Carolina’s northeastern estuaries, focusing on sites that are not likely to be cleaned up by private property owners or government agencies. Multiple ADVs located within North Carolina's sounds and estuaries were either purposely abandoned or became derelict after floating away from docks that were destroyed or washed away during hurricanes, such as Irene (2011), Sandy (2012), Arthur (2014), Matthew (2016), Michael (2018), and Dorian (2019).
Ocean Conservancy (Maine, $143,139) will work with the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation to remove derelict fishing gear and large debris from identified hotspots in Maine state waters and build capacity and raise awareness among fishermen and other stakeholders to implement best practices for managing gear and preventing and reporting gear loss. Removed gear will be recycled and/or recovered for energy as appropriate and the lessons learned from this project will be replicated in future workshops around the region when bringing together fishermen and other stakeholders.
Ocean Plastics Recovery Project, LLC (Alaska, $205,139) will engage volunteers in a high-visibility, large scale marine debris cleanup in Katmai National Park. The project will explore innovative recycling and recovery processes in order to determine the best recycling methods and likely recycling markets for the collected ocean plastics. Katmai National Park is an ecologically sensitive area which includes marine mammal critical habitat, seabird nesting colonies, and the world’s densest concentration of coastal brown bears.
The Ocean Foundation (Puerto Rico, $150,000) will locate and remove lost and abandoned fishing gear in southeast Puerto Rico and marine reserve areas. The removal activity will be conducted by local fishermen that already have experience removing derelict fishing gear. The project will also host training opportunities to build capacity for marine debris removal and collaboration among the fishing communities in the target areas.
University of Delaware (Delaware, $225,079) will identify and remove 1,000 derelict crab pots from a recreational blue crab fishery in highly active fishing areas of Indian River Bay, Delaware. The project will also assess how derelict crab pots affect catch rates and habitats to better understand the economic impact such traps have on the fishery, as well as the physical impact of derelict traps in the area.
Awarded Removal Projects - Archives
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