The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Debris Program announced Wednesday that it provided $967,000 through NOAA's Restoration Center to support locally driven, community-based marine debris prevention and removal projects.
Eleven groups across the country, including here in Hawaii, received funding to remove derelict fishing nets, litter, lumber, tires and other harmful marine debris from shorelines and coastal waters.
NOAA says the Hawaii Wildlife Fund will continue its work to remove marine debris from the shoreline of Big Island of Hawaii, focusing on the Ka'u coast. That program will receive $45,000. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources will get $100,530 to remove debris from Kahoolawe.
"Marine debris plagues coastlines all over the country, and these communities have the expertise and motivation to address it," said Nancy Wallace, Marine Debris Program director. "We are proud to support them as they work to mitigate impacts and address the damage marine debris has caused."
The projects typically last for 24 months and create long-term ecological improvements for coastal habitat, waterways and wildlife, including migratory fish.
The projects were chosen from a pool of 46 applications submitted by non-governmental organizations, tribes, academia and local government agencies. The combined request from all applications totaled nearly $5 million, demonstrating the widespread need to address marine debris across the country.
With this program, NOAA has funded 76 marine debris removal projects and removed more than 3,800 metric tons of marine debris from our oceans and Great Lakes since 2006.
NOAA's Restoration Center is now accepting applications for the next funding cycle and applications are due November 1. For more information, visit http://www.habitat.noaa.gov/funding/marinedebris.html.