The NOAA Marine Debris Program Awards Funding to 11 New Projects to Remove Marine Debris

Posted Tue, 08/29/2017 - 10:00

After an intensive evaluation process, the NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce the 11 recipients of our 2017 removal awards, totaling $1,238,358 of funding toward marine debris removal efforts. 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. These awards continue the Marine Debris Program’s commitment to develop impactful, community-driven and cost-effective projects that improve living marine resource habitats through the removal of marine debris.

This year's funded projects are:

The Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority ($67,000) will remove ~20 tons of marine debris, largely in the form of concrete rubble, from the shoreline and surrounding waters of an industrial waste site in the City of Camden, New Jersey. The removal is key for converting the site into a public park and restoring coastal habitat.

Cleveland Metroparks ($108,100) will remove 6,250 tons of concrete slabs and metal from Euclid Beach Park on the shores of Lake Erie. They will also be conducting at least 10 volunteer beach cleanups each year of the project and creating an educational display to help the public understand the effects of plastic pollution in Lake Erie.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, Inc. ($149,260) will survey, map, and remove derelict crab pots in New Jersey’s southern coastal bays, building off of the success and lessons learned from a previously-funded NOAA Marine Debris Program grant.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Suffolk County ($120,000) will continue their successful and long-running efforts to remove and quantify the extent and distribution of derelict lobster gear in the New York and Connecticut waters of Long Island Sound. Working with commercial lobstermen, the project will remove over 100 metric tons of derelict gear debris.

The County of Prince George ($150,000) will install two floating litter traps in the Anacostia River in Maryland to reduce the debris loads flowing downstream towards the Potomac River and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. The County will also monitor the effectiveness of this removal approach, and increase public awareness of marine debris through local outreach and education programs.

Island Trails Network ($71,479) will work with an estimated 200 community volunteers and students to remove 8-12 tons from an 80-mile stretch of coastline, totaling about 28 linear miles, on northeastern Kodiak Island, Alaska. This funding allows ITN to build off of previous community-based removal efforts on neighboring Tugidak and Shuyak Islands.

The Makah Indian Tribe of the Makah Indian Reservation ($150,000) will remove three derelict fishing vessels from Neah Bay, Washington, in order to prevent pollution, increase economic opportunities for commercial and recreational vessels, and fulfill tribal responsibilities with respect to managing resources and protecting tribal waters.

Mobile Baykeeper Inc. ($56,013) will conduct an initial debris assessment, hold extensive debris removal cleanups, and monitor One Mile Creek, in Mobile, Alabama. They will also work to increase awareness about the issue with a campaign targeted towards the City of Mobile’s Mardi Gras celebration and will install temporary storm drain debris barriers during Mardi Gras in 2017 and 2018 to reduce debris entering the waterways.

North Carolina Coastal Federation Inc. ($64,474) will remove 250 cubic meters of aquaculture debris from 30 acres of sensitive coastal habitats near Harkers Island, North Carolina. In addition, they will develop a set of best management practices for prevention, removal, and disposal of aquaculture debris to help prevent future generations of debris from aquaculture activities.

Pacific Coastal Research and Planning ($250,000) will work with a contractor to remove an 83 foot derelict fishing vessel that is grounded in and damaging sensitive coral reef habitat in the Port of Saipan of the Northern Mariana Islands. A local media campaign will be used to highlight the removal project to the public and share ways to prevent marine debris in the future, such as proper storm preparation.

Save Our Shores ($52,032) will organize volunteer cleanups both from land and water to remove a minimum of seven tons of debris from three waterways leading into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Monterey, California. Additionally, they will conduct education programs in schools and outreach with communities adjacent to their target waterways to raise awareness of the issue and the threat it poses to the sanctuary.

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

The NOAA Marine Debris Program Awards Funding to 11 New Projects to Remove Marine Debris

Posted Tue, 08/29/2017 - 10:00

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

The Marine Debris Blog is no longer accepting comments but continues to display past contributions.

Linda Kamel

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 09:39

My son Adrian just received the 2017 Presidential Environmental Education Awards.
Benjamin Friedman was one of the speakers that gave the opening remarks and we were very impressed with so much that NOAA does that we would like to volunteer for the water cleanups in our area--and maybe beyond--. We live in Falls Church, VA in Northern Virginia (22046) Could you please direct us to a volunteer NOAA contact here.

Michael Rogers

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 09:24

I have a project that would involve helping waterside restaurants reduce the amount of litter that gets into waterways from wind blowing patrons trash off of tables. Can you please send me a link with the grant requirements so I can share the plan. Thank You

NOAA Marine De…

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:25

In reply to by Michael Rogers

Hi Michael,

Thank you for your interest in and work to address marine debris. Unfortunately, this year's grant opportunities for marine debris prevention and removal projects closed October 5th and November 1st, respectively. However, there are still lots of ways to get involved. Take a look at what's going on in your region and contact your regional coordinator for more information.

Dutch Petro

Sat, 03/24/2018 - 17:10

I have been doing research in the marine fields for a number of decades now. The initial study work began in 1979 after seeing first hand what impacts commercial fishing was having on wild pelagic stocks. Since then, they have encompassed everything from oilspill containment to offshore netpens to grow out and release dwindling wild stocks. It is disheartening to say the least, that at this point in time, the amount of funding applied by the US Govt. to address these problems is so little. After reading through these pages and seeing that less than five million dollars has been allocated to any clean up grants and study concerning bio-accumulation of micro plastics into the food chain from NOAA, I can only conclude that either NOAA does not care about the growing garbage patches in the oceans, or that the upper management of NOAA is so out of touch with the reality we are facing concerning these problems, that the standing policy is akin to,"Just be quiet and hope nobody notices, we will retire soon, it will be someone else's problem".

Jane Sorensen

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:52

I would like to volunteer or intern on one of these projects for a committed duration. I am available this summer as of July 1st. I'm a sailor, now finishing up the Navigation course at The Canadian Power & Sail Squadron where I also have the Marine Radio Operator's card. I've taken Elementary sailing to learn how to captain, as I've been crew for a number of years. I'm also a trained biologist (B.Sc.), albeit for terrestrial ecosystems, but my work experience and further education is in technical communication, business administration, and entrepreneurship/innovation.

Can you share my information (I can follow up with other details) with grantees and other partners? To be clear: I am Canadian and I am mobile and I am available, but this requires organization, I can't just come down and show up for a day or two, though it would be interesting.

Thanks for your interest, Jane! We encourage you to reach out to the Regional Coordinator in the area you're interested in, who may be able to put you in contact with other groups in need of volunteers. If you haven't already, we also encourage you to subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, which lists cleanups happening around the U.S. in which volunteers can get involved, although it sounds like you're likely looking for a larger time commitment than a single cleanup. However, the many different organizations that arrange for these cleanups could also be potential contacts for you. If you have additional questions, please feel free to direct them to us at

Would like to contact Sorensen in re: Pacific Ocean Gyro Removal.

Hi Thomas, we are working on a response to your email. Thanks!


Mon, 12/23/2019 - 17:00

A friend recently removed a sunken 35ft.cypress oyster vessel from bayou lafourche LA. area pumped out towed to private dock started cleaning and repairing than a salvage co.came with local sheriff and took vessel owner of vessel gave to him with all papers titles,and registration please help me to understand what's rite or who has the rite of ownership please sir.or maddàm thanks

Thank you for reaching out about this situation in Louisiana. For the correct answer, you will need to reach out to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries who manage these specific regulations. Here are a few links that might be helpful.  (State Website) and (PDF about the legal review process for vessels) However, this second link was published in 2015 and you'll want to confirm with the State of Louisiana that you have updated information.