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Deadline Extended: FY17 Community-based Marine Debris Removal Grant Opportunity

The deadline for the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s 2017 “Community-based Marine Debris Removal” federal funding opportunity has been extended due to disruption from Hurricane Matthew affecting many of our potential applicants. The new deadline is Thursday, October 202016.

This opportunity provides funding to support locally-driven, marine debris assessment and removal projects that will benefit coastal habitat, waterways, and NOAA trust resources. Projects awarded through this grant competition implement on-the-ground marine debris removal activities, with priority for those targeting medium- to large-scale debris, including derelict fishing gear and abandoned and derelict vessels. There is also a secondary priority for projects that conduct post-removal habitat monitoring to assess the beneficial impacts of debris removal. Through this funding opportunity, NOAA works to foster awareness of the effects of marine debris to further the conservation of living marine resource habitats, and contributes to the understanding of marine debris composition, distribution, and impacts. To apply for this grant opportunity, visit Grants.gov.

For more information about the program’s competitive federal funding opportunities, visit our website.


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The NOAA Marine Debris Program Awards Funding to 12 New Projects to Prevent Marine Debris

Prevention is the ultimate solution to marine debris. In order to tackle this pervasive problem, we must stop it at its source. Since 2013, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has offered an annual nationwide competitive funding opportunity to support projects focused on marine debris prevention through education and outreach. This year, after an intensive evaluation process, we are proud to announce the 12 recipients of our 2016 awards, totaling $684,264 of funding toward marine debris prevention efforts.

This year’s funded projects are:

  • Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs, Inc. ($31,900) will add a national marine debris “Creative Advocacy” category to their annual Ocean Awareness Student Contest, which will challenge middle and high school students to design, implement, and assess marine debris education, outreach, and prevention projects in their schools and communities. Students will also have the chance to win a scholarship.
  • Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies ($86,512) will implement a zero-waste education and outreach campaign focused on promoting recycling and preventing single-use plastics and other land-based marine debris. The campaign will work with ten schools, local businesses, and communities throughout the Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage in Alaska.
  • Hudson River Community Sailing, Inc. ($32,015) will implement an afterschool education and outreach program to inspire high school students to become stewards of the Hudson Estuary in New York City. The program will include education through marine debris curricula, field trips, cleanup activities, and the creation of a marine debris display to be installed at the Hudson River Park to educate the public about marine debris impacts and prevention.
  • One Cool Earth ($72,050) will implement marine debris education and student- and school-led solid waste management programs at 17 public schools in Paso Robles and Atascadero, California, to prevent land-based litter from entering the Pacific Ocean via the Salinas River.
  • Pacific Whale Foundation ($25,000) will implement a public awareness campaign on the island of Maui to educate the public about marine debris from tobacco products and about the statewide ban in Hawaii of smoking on public beaches and in parks.
  • Pan Isles Inc., Ship Island Excursions ($57,318) will provide teacher trainings on marine debris curriculum and enable teachers and their students to participate in field trips to West Ship Island in Gulfport, Mississippi, to conduct marine debris cleanups. In addition, high school students will be given summer internships to work with professional marine educators to teach the general public about marine debris aboard the West Ship Island ferry.
  • Sea Education Association, Inc. ($96,050) will utilize their current shipboard education program to teach students about marine debris and involve them in a local marine debris campaign in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Students will conduct research on plastic reduction campaigns and then design, implement, and evaluate a campaign to educate the local community about marine debris. The goal is to promote behavior changes to reduce the use of single-use plastic items.
  • Sea Turtle, Inc. ($22,565) will install a permanent, bilingual, and interactive display on marine debris in their educational facility on South Padre Island, Texas, and expand their marine debris education and outreach to include virtual, in-school, and field trip outreach sessions for elementary, middle, and high school groups. Sea Turtle, Inc. will also install educational signage at local jetties and lead community beach cleanups.
  • School District of the City of Erie, Pennsylvania ($50,434) will lead a district-wide education and outreach program that incorporates marine debris education and stewardship activities into existing curricula for 4th and 5th grade students to reduce land-based marine debris.
  • Trash Free Maryland ($80,000) will conduct research on littering behaviors and then use this research to develop and implement a multi-year social marketing campaign with the goal of reducing land-based litter in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • University of Georgia ($31,009) will engage 7th grade students and teachers through an educational program and monthly marine debris cleanups to prevent debris from impacting the coastal ecosystem in the Golden Isles of Georgia. They will also develop a short educational film to increase environmental stewardship in the Golden Isles community.
  • University of the Virgin Islands ($99,411) will modify an existing marine debris curriculum to make it more relevant to the issues in the U.S. Virgin Islands and will train teachers on the Island of St. Croix to implement the curriculum in their classrooms. The curriculum will include hands-on beach cleanup activities and the development of student-led projects such as the creation of art displays and public service announcements.

For more information on current and past prevention projects, visit the Marine Debris Clearinghouse or the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s website.


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The NOAA Marine Debris Program Awards Funding to 14 New Projects to Remove Marine Debris

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. This year, after an intensive evaluation process, we are proud to announce the 14 recipients of our 2016 awards, totaling $1,123,523 of funding toward marine debris removal efforts.

This year’s funded projects are:

  • Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources ($36,112) will survey and map derelict crab traps in Upper Mobile Bay, Portersville Bay, Heron Bay, Weeks Bay, Wolf Bay, and Perdido Bay in Alabama, then will lead three volunteer derelict crab trap removal events to remove approximately 1,050 crab traps.
  • California State University Channel Islands ($99,928) will conduct monthly and quarterly marine debris shoreline accumulation surveys at mainland California and Channel Island beaches and will remove 19 tons of marine debris. The University will also implement an awareness campaign to prevent lobster pot loss and will conduct education and outreach with K-12 and undergraduate students.
  • Center for Coastal Studies ($95,283) will work with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries as well as commercial and recreational fishermen to identity, remove, document, and properly dispose of approximately 17 tons of derelict fishing gear from Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay.
  • Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Fish and Wildlife ($90,000) will work with local commercial crabbers to survey, map, and remove up to 2,000 derelict crab pots from coastal areas near Dover, on the Delaware side of Delaware Bay. Education and outreach with the recreational boating and crabbing communities will also be conducted to prevent future derelict fishing gear.
  • Douglas Indian Association ($33,812) will survey, map, and remove up to 400 derelict crab pots from the Gastineau Channel between Douglas Island and Juneau, Alaska.
  • Galveston Bay Foundation ($42,500) will remove six abandoned and derelict vessels and one large bundle of derelict pilings from Chocolate Bayou in Galveston Bay, Texas.
  • Hawaii Wildlife Fund ($85,000) will remove approximately 61 tons of marine debris through 35 large-scale community cleanup events and through 84 patrols for derelict fishing gear and large debris along remote stretches of coastline on Lānaʻi, Kauaʻi, Maui, and the island of Hawaii.
  • Marine Board, Oregon State ($55,000) will remove the 70-foot, 78-ton F/V Western, which sank in Coos Bay in 2015. They will also lead an Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Task Force to prevent future abandoned and derelict vessels and will develop an inventory of abandoned and derelict vessels along the Oregon coast.
  • New Jersey Audubon Society ($176,849) will survey, map, and remove approximately 2,000 derelict crab pots from the Cape May area of Delaware Bay, New Jersey’s southern coastal bays, and the Cape May artificial reef. They will also conduct outreach with local crabbers and the general public to prevent future derelict fishing gear.
  • North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality ($40,768) will conduct unmanned aerial surveys to identify and map medium and large marine debris items to prioritize for removal within the Rachel Carson Reserve component of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve. Approximately six tons of priority marine debris will be removed and adjacent habitat will be monitored for recovery.
  • Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources ($66,672) will assess, map, and remove five 30- to 46-foot abandoned and derelict vessels in Fajardo Bay, Puerto Rico. The adjacent coral and seagrass habitats will then be monitored for recovery. Outreach with the boating community will also be conducted to educate boaters about how to prevent vessel groundings and derelict vessels.
  • Sitka Sound Science Center ($175,000) will work with teams of local, trained crew and volunteers to remove approximately 33 tons of marine debris from shorelines in and around the communities of Port Heiden, St. Paul, and Savoonga in the Bering Sea.
  • Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association ($90,000) will conduct maintenance and provide upgrades to the existing trash capture infrastructure in the Goat Canyon Sediment Basin of the U.S. portion of the Tijuana River. They will also lead two month-long community cleanup events to remove an estimated five tons of debris from surrounding natural habitats. Outreach regarding waste management and marine debris will be conducted with stakeholders in Mexico through binational communication.
  • University of Wisconsin Sea Grant ($36,599) will implement strategies to identify and locate derelict fishing nets for removal, including the development and distribution of derelict net marking kits for local anglers and the installation of sonar and video equipment on vessels. At least ten large nets totaling at least five tons will be removed from Lake Superior.

For more information on current and past removal projects, visit the Marine Debris Clearinghouse or the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s website.


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Now Open: FY17 Marine Debris Research Grant Opportunity

The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce our “Marine Debris Research” federal funding opportunity. This opportunity provides funding to support eligible organizations to conduct research directly related to marine debris through field, laboratory, and modeling experiments. Applicants requesting funding for research that explores the ecological risk associated with marine debris, determines debris exposure levels, and examines the fate and transport of marine debris in nearshore, coastal environments are welcome to apply. Projects may address one or more of these research priorities and should be original, hypothesis-driven projects that have not previously been addressed to scientific standards. To apply for this grant opportunity, visit Grants.gov.

For more information about the program’s competitive federal funding opportunities, visit our website.


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Now Open: FY17 Community-based Marine Debris Removal Grant Opportunity

The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce our “Community-based Marine Debris Removal” federal funding opportunity. This opportunity provides funding to support locally-driven, marine debris assessment and removal projects that will benefit coastal habitat, waterways, and NOAA trust resources. Projects awarded through this grant competition implement on-the-ground marine debris removal activities, with priority for those targeting medium- to large-scale debris, including derelict fishing gear and abandoned and derelict vessels. There is also a secondary priority for projects that conduct post-removal habitat monitoring to assess the beneficial impacts of debris removal. Through this funding opportunity, NOAA works to foster awareness of the effects of marine debris to further the conservation of living marine resource habitats, and contributes to the understanding of marine debris composition, distribution, and impacts. To apply for this grant opportunity, visit Grants.gov.

For more information about the program’s competitive federal funding opportunities, visit our website.


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NOAA’s Marine Debris Program Funds 13 New Community-based Removal Projects

The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to award nearly $1.4 million to 13 groups across the country as part of our annual Community-based Marine Debris Removal grant competition. The recipients will use these funds to remove large debris including derelict vessels, abandoned fishing gear and other harmful marine debris from shorelines and coastal waters. Their efforts will be extended further by working with local volunteers on prevention initiatives. These projects typically last for approximately two years and create long-term ecological improvements for coastal habitats and wildlife.

This year’s funded projects are:

The City of Bayou La Batre, Alabama ($150,000) will remove 23 large pieces of marine debris, primarily consisting of derelict vessels, from its Gulf of Mexico shipping channel. In coordination with state partners, local organizations and volunteer groups, the city will also work with the state-run Dauphin Island Sea Lab to restore habitat and implement a public awareness and outreach campaign to improve disposal of unwanted vessels.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries ($135,527) will sponsor two large-scale derelict crab trap removal events in the Barataria-Terebonne and Lake Pontchartrain basins, some of the most heavily fished areas in Louisiana. The events will occur during the crabbing closure period set by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission and will build upon successful removal efforts from previous years.

Boat U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water ($51,142) will work with local salvage companies to remove large debris in Ocean City, Maryland, and in Lake Erie.

Clean the Bay Rhode Island ($194,800) began the Providence River Project, an effort to remove abandoned pilings and industrial waste from the East Providence shoreline in 2014. With this grant, Clean the Bay will continue removal efforts and supplement outreach and volunteer opportunities with community partners to address a debris issue that has plagued this area for more than 100 years.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey ($109,618) will identify and remove nearly 1,000 derelict crab pots in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, and will gain a better understanding on how much gear is lost annually by recreational and commercial crab fishermen.

Stockton University, New Jersey ($119,625) will survey and digitally map derelict crab traps located in the state’s Mullica River-Great Bay Estuary and Greater Egg Harbor Estuary. Funding will also help local crabbers and community members recover and recycle derelict crab traps. The university also plans to conduct community outreach to recreational boaters and crabbers to help them avoid trap buoys and properly set their own traps.

The Nature Conservancy ($55,775) will collaborate with the Quileute Indian Tribe to build on existing marine debris programs on the outer coast of Washington state around Destruction Island to remove derelict fishing gear and other marine debris from coastal waters. This will restore habitats and improve safety for vessels using these waterways.

Island Trails Network, Alaska ($128,510) will remove and analyze the composition of nearly 60,000 pounds of debris from remote Shuyak Island Park, part of the Kodiak Archipelago and one of the largest remaining marine debris deposits in the western Gulf of Alaska. Shuyak Island is rich in biodiversity and provides critical habitat to many species of nesting birds, harbor seals and other marine life.

Scuba Dogs Society ($29,989) plans to improve coastal and marine habitat around Loiza, Puerto Rico, by removing 10 metric tons of debris using a large volunteer force. These efforts will be coupled with outreach and education activities, including a competition to build five recycling stations for communities, businesses and schools.

Coastal Cleanup Corporation ($35,000) will work with volunteers to remove debris from Biscayne National Park, located off the southern tip of Florida, to protect and maintain endangered loggerhead and green sea turtle nesting habitat and foraging grounds.

North Carolina Coastal Federation ($93,047) will expand a pilot project to remove derelict fishing gear from Albemarle, Currituck, Pamlico and Roanoke sounds by improving the techniques for detecting derelict fishing gear, expanding existing crab pot collection and increasing their existing partnerships with crab fishermen.

Mariana Islands Nature Alliance ($110,000) will help reduce beach litter and raise awareness of marine debris by placing trash and recycling bins around islands at popular beach spots for locals and tourists. They will also develop curriculum for the islands’ first through sixth grade students in Chamorro and Carolinian, the local languages.

University of California, Davis California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project ($170,000) works with commercial Dungeness crab fishermen to recover tons of lost fishing gear from California waters. This project expands their work with commercial fishermen in California to recover lost and abandoned crab pots, and begins a gear buy-back program to lessen the source of future potential debris.

To see the full announcement, click here.
To learn more about current and past projects, please visit the Marine Debris Clearinghouse.


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Fishing for Energy Partnership Announces Grants to Support Marine Debris Prevention

Earlier today, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced this year’s grant awards from the Fishing for Energy Partnership. The NOAA Marine Debris Program is happy to be part of this collaboration, along with the NFWF and Covanta, to support the fifth round of grant awards, totaling more than $263,000.


The Fishing for Energy Partnership was launched in 2008 and works to reduce the amount of derelict fishing gear in U.S. waters by offering commercial fishermen a no-cost opportunity to dispose of old, lost or unusable fishing gear. This gear is then recycled and processed to generate electricity at Covanta Energy-from-Waste facilities. The mission is to reduce the adverse economic and environmental impacts of derelict fishing gear.

This year’s grant awards support projects to help commercial and recreational fishermen and boaters reduce the amount of fishing gear lost in the marine environment. The 2015 Fishing for Energy Partnership grants include:

Engaging Recreational Boaters in the Prevention of Commercial Fixed Gear Debris
The Boat U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water
Fishing for Energy Grant: $105,699 | Grantee Contributions: $140,580
Educate recreational boaters nationwide about specific means of preventing boat entanglement with fixed fishing gear and provide best practices to explain how to responsibly respond when entanglements do occur. Project will explore the user conflict between recreational boaters and fishermen and develop effective practices and messages to enhance debris prevention efforts through formal and informal boater education.

Reducing Derelict Crab Trap Generation in South Carolina through Engagement of Recreational Boaters and Commercial Crabbers
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Fishing for Energy Grant: $49,324 | Grantee Contributions: $19,241
Characterize crab trap float losses in South Carolina as a result of vessel strikes and engineer solutions to reduce the rate of annual derelict fishing gear accrual. Project will engage both recreational boaters and commercial crabbers to reduce the probability of severing crab trap floats when a boat collision cannot be avoided.

Reducing Derelict Gear through Educational Tools for Recreational Pot Fishermen in New England
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
Fishing for Energy Grant: $41,344 | Grantee Contributions: $3,663
Create a series of educational videos for recreational pot fishermen in New England. Project will demonstrate Best Management Practices for recreational fishermen and provide the education tools needed to reduce the incidence of derelict fishing gear.

Development of Side‐scan Sonar Methodology to Survey Derelict Lobster Pots in Sandy and Rocky Habitats in Massachusetts
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
Fishing for Energy Grant: $66,722 | Grantee Contributions: $10,672
Estimate derelict lobster pot density in Western Cape Cod Bay, Mass., using a full coverage side-scan sonar pilot survey. Project will develop a derelict lobster pot detection rate by using side-scan sonar on a known number of pots over both featureless and complex habitats.

To see the NFWF’s full press release, click here.