Now Open: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Grant Opportunity for Marine Debris Removal

Posted Wed, 06/29/2022 - 09:50
A mass of derelict nets in water.
A mass of derelict nets removed from the reefs surrounding Midway Atoll (Kuaihelani, Pihemanu) in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (Photo: NOAA).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program is pleased to announce our Fiscal Year 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Removal notice of funding opportunity. Funding for this opportunity is provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

The NOAA Marine Debris Program will award up to $56 million to fund projects that remove marine debris to benefit marine and Great Lakes habitats and communities. This competition focuses on two priorities: removing large marine debris and using proven interception technologies to capture marine debris throughout the coastal United States, Great Lakes, territories, and Freely Associated States.

The first priority will support partnerships for the development of large scale and high-value marine debris removal programs. These programs should focus on large marine debris, including abandoned and derelict vessels, derelict fishing gear, and other debris that is generally unable to be collected by hand. Removal partnerships are expected to be responsive to marine debris needs throughout all coastal and marine areas in the United States, including the Great Lakes, United States territories, and Freely Associated States, including within National Marine Sanctuaries and National Estuarine Research Reserves. Successful applicants are expected to have technical and administrative ability to identify, catalog, evaluate, fund, and administer such efforts through their own competitive funding programs. This is not a request for individual or localized marine debris removal projects. 

The second priority of this competition focuses on implementation of proven marine debris interception technologies in coastal riverine, shoreline, estuarine, and urban environments where trash, plastics, and other persistent, reaccumulating macro-debris can be captured and removed. Successful applicants are expected to have the technical expertise to implement these technologies, navigate and comply with all regulatory requirements associated with such projects, and properly maintain these technologies once deployed.

These two priorities will be reviewed as separate, parallel tracks under this funding opportunity, and they have different application requirements. Applicants wishing to compete under both priorities must submit separate applications for each.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program encourages applicants and awardees to support the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion when writing their proposals and performing their work. 

PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for proposals on Grants.gov has been extended to October 14, 2022, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. An applicant webinar providing an overview of the competition details and tips for submitting applications is now available. These materials include the webinar recording, slides, and frequently asked questions. Additional applicant guidance documents created specifically for this competition are also available.

For more information on this grant opportunity, please visit Grants.gov and the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s website.

Now Open: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Grant Opportunity for Marine Debris Removal

Posted Wed, 06/29/2022 - 09:50

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For citation purposes, unless otherwise noted, this article was authored by the NOAA Marine Debris Program.

Ronald Kirchhoff

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 15:16

...Sirs, I am not able to compete but would like to put forward a suggestion to attack the main areas that floating waste stays in the oceans. I propose that ships be dispatched to the location of massive waste areas in the oceans. There they send airboats out to gather in waste material and bring it into larger processing vessels. These vessels process the waste. Transport vessels take the bulk processed waste to shore where it is recycled. The gathering vessels and processing vessels remain at sea. The transport vessels also shuttle crews to and from the processing vessels so crews could be rotated out to avoid work fatigue. Needless to say, this would also have to be an international effort since it involves cleaning waterways for safer shipping.

...Ronald, we designed and developed this system starting back in 2007 and have yet to get funding. We have a bit more robust system than you describe, utilizing AI/ML and some seriously cool tech, in association with solution partners. However, without funding, it is a ship 'underway without making way'.

... I don't know if you can from a political standpoint publicly request that people sign a petition launched by NOAA for funding for this marvelous and urgently needed project. However, perhaps someone either in or formerly in NOAA, who could give access to the formulated plans etc, could approach some of the large environmental groups such as the Ocean Conservancy or EWG or any of the many other groups working to save wildlife as well as our oceans to request them to set up a petition which would include email and telephone opportunities to one's Congress People as well as to the White House and any interested cabinet members etc. In my personal opinion, there's absolutely nothing like hundreds of thousands if not perhaps even millions of people - given the importance of the work - to draw attention to and elicit some action from those who provide funds for this kind of work. People the world over are very concerned about this issue and rightly so. It needs to swell from the ground toward various governmental and funding agencies.

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