FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2007
CONTACTS: Ben Sherman, NOAA Public Affairs
John Butler, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
NOAA and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Announce $1.1 Million for Marine Debris Prevention and Removal Grants
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.
“Across the nation, these projects will help local communities address the problem of marine debris in our waters,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce and NOAA administrator. “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.”
The NOAA Marine Debris Program provides grants to improve our understanding of the impacts of marine debris, and reduce and prevent debris in our marine environment. It was created to assist NOAA in implementing the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act, and is managed by the foundation in partnership with NOAA.
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.
The mission of the NOAA Marine Debris Program is to support a national effort focused on identifying, removing, and preventing the occurrence of marine debris and to protect and conserve our nation’s natural resources and coastal waterways from the impacts of marine debris. The NOAA program coordinates, strengthens, and enhances marine debris efforts within the agency and works with external partners to support research, prevention, and reduction activities related to the issue of marine debris.
Each year NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA’s goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 35 years.
A nonprofit established by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation sustains, restores, and enhances the nation's fish, wildlife, plants, and habitats. Through leadership conservation investments with public and private partners, the foundation is dedicated to achieving maximum conservation impact by developing and applying best practices and innovative methods for measurable outcomes. Since its establishment, the foundation has awarded more than 8,000 grants to more than 3,000 organizations in the United States and abroad and leveraged – with its partners – more than $340 million in federal funds, for a total of over $1 billion in conservation.
A list of 2006 grant recipients follows.
On the Web:
NOAA Marine Debris Program: http://www.marinedebris.noaa.gov/
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: http://www.nfwf.org
Assessment of Derelict Fishing Net Impacts to Marine Species, Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Foundation
Derelict Recreational Gear Removal in California, The Regents of the University of California
Effects of Ghost Crab Pots in the Chesapeake (VA), Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Emergency Trap and Debris Removal Plan (FL), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Marine Debris Education & Monofilament Recycling for Boaters, BoatU.S. Foundation
Marine Debris Education Program for Puerto Rico, G. Works Inc
Maryland Marine Debris Removal Project, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program (PR), University of Puerto Rico
Net Debris Prevention at Fishermen’s Terminal (WA), Port of Seattle Fishermen Terminal
Plankton & Plastic Surveys of U.S. Ocean Waters, American Chemistry Council
Port of New Bedford Floating Debris Analysis (MA), New Bedford Harbor Development Commission
Western and Central Pacific Fishing Line Recycling Program, Chris Woolaway & Assoc, LLC
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