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 2021 removal awards, totaling approximately $1.8 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 in the environment . 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 benefit coastal habitats, waterways, wildlife, and surrounding communities.
The 2021 funded projects are:
Alaska Department of Fish and Game (Alaska, $143,098) will remove, study, and recycle marine debris in the Forrester Island complex in Southeast Alaska. The Forrester Island complex suffers from a high density of marine debris, more than half of which is derelict fishing gear, and supports North America’s largest breeding and birthing grounds for Steller sea lions. The project will also educate commercial fishers and school groups about marine debris in order to help reduce future accumulation of debris.
Center for Coastal Studies (Massachusetts, $176,490) will locate, remove, and properly dispose of approximately 24 tons of derelict fishing gear in Cape Cod Bay. The project will work with the shellfish industry and local fishers to remove derelict fishing gear from sensitive habitats along shorelines, breakwaters, shellfish flats, and the seabed. Collected gear will be returned to its owner, repurposed by artists, recycled when possible, or converted to energy.
City of Hoboken (New Jersey, $235,129) will partner with Riverkeeper and the New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program to remove up to 17 abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs) from the Hudson River Estuary, representing all known ADVs in the estuary. The project will also conduct a public education campaign for recreational boaters and the recreational boating industry to discourage future abandonment of vessels.
Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund (Hawaiʻi, $178,552) will partner with Surfrider Kauaʻi to conduct weekly “net patrols” on Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi Islands, quarterly beach cleanups on Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi, and Maui Islands, four operations to airlift debris from inaccessible areas, and manage derelict net drop-off stations at six locations. The project is expected to remove over 100 metric tons of debris, representing the efforts of more than 1,000 volunteers and almost 8,000 volunteer hours.
Mississippi State University (Mississippi, $208,262) will remove 12 large marine debris items, including eight abandoned or sunken derelict vessels, one travel trailer, and three large accumulations of appliances and tractor tires from the lower Pascagoula River. The project will then monitor the recovery of the impacted ecosystem for two years.
Northwest Straits Foundation (Washington, $166,000) will engage with tribal and state commercial crabbers to remove derelict crab traps from Padilla Bay and Anacortes Bay, including waters within the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The project will also develop and implement an outreach campaign to prevent re-accumulation of derelict crab pots.
Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency (California, $330,209) will remove approximately 27 abandoned or derelict vessels and floating homes, weighing an estimated 200 tons, from Richardson’s Bay. The project will also work with vessel owners to prevent vessels from becoming derelict or to voluntarily turn in vessels that have become marine debris.
Scuba Dogs Society (Puerto Rico, $107,970) will work with local partners to coordinate year-round coastal cleanups and remove large underwater, coastal, or estuarine debris. The cleanups are part of an action-based educational program offering volunteer and citizen science opportunities for all audiences in Puerto Rico.
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (South Carolina, $97,006) will remove derelict crab traps in intertidal and subtidal areas of South Carolina coastal estuaries, including part of the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge. The project will detect, map, and remove traps, and collected traps will be used to build oyster reef habitat to reduce erosion and habitat loss.
Superior Watershed Partnership (Michigan, $122,302) will partner with Upper Peninsula tribes to conduct a marine debris removal and outreach campaign in Michigan. Cleanup events will target high-traffic areas, including harbors, coastal wetlands, river mouths, and recreational areas adjacent to the Lake Superior shoreline. The project will engage residents and visitors through these hands-on removal events and spread educational messages over local media to reach an estimated 70% of the population of the Upper Peninsula.
Awarded Removal Projects - Archives
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