$1.1 Million Funds Marine Debris Removal, ENS, 02/07/07
Source: Environment News Service
WASHINGTON, DC - Derelict fishing nets, ghost crab pots, coils of abandoned monofilament fishing line and other marine debris will be removed from shorelines across the country with funding of $1.1 million from a public-private partnership.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Debris Program announced today the funding of 12 grants totaling more than $1.1 million.
The grants, which include more than $495,000 in federal funds and an additional $608,000 in matching contributions, were awarded to projects in 10 states and two U.S. territories from proposals received in 2006. Under the program, marine debris will be removed from Chesapeake Bay to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
"Across the nation, these projects will help local communities address the problem of marine debris in our waters," said NOAA Administrator Conrad Lautenbacher. "NOAA is pleased to continue this partnership with the foundation, federal agencies, and our other partners to reduce and prevent marine debris in the environment."
"We are excited to have joined this effort to address marine debris across the nation," said National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Executive Director Jeff Trandahl. "We are taking steps now to prevent further destructive debris from entering the marine environment while we work with partners from Hawaii to Virginia to prioritize areas for removal of existing debris."
"The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation was one of the initial sponsors of the 'proof of concept' project to establish a need for marine debris clean-up in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and we are very excited to be returning to this issue through our partnership with NOAA," Trandahl said.
The foundation will be accepting Marine Debris Grants Program proposals for 2007 beginning in February 2007.
Some of the priorities identified for 2007 funding include creation or improvement of best management practices of ports and marinas to decrease the threat of marine debris to marine life and navigational safety; work with the fishing industry and/or fisheries councils and organizations to develop better solutions to reduce derelict fishing gear in the marine environment; and increased understanding of the sources and impacts of marine debris on marine mammals, sensitive habitats, tourist and fishing industries, and navigational safety.
Grant application directions and forms will be available online at: http://www.nfwf.org/programs/marine_debris.cfm.
For more information about the program, contact Michelle Pico at firstname.lastname@example.org.