The NOAA Marine Debris Program Awards Funding to 14 New Projects Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Posted Wed, 04/19/2023 - 16:05
Rope, traps, and buoys on a rocky shoreline.
Lost fishing gear on the coast of Massachusetts (Credit: NOAA).

Following a highly competitive review process, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program is pleased to announce the 14 recommended recipients of our NOAA Marine Debris Removal awards for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023, totaling over $69 million in federal funding for marine debris removal. Funding for this opportunity was provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and leveraged funds from the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Marine debris is a pervasive national and global problem that harms wildlife, navigation safety, ecosystem health, and the economy. The transformational projects awarded under this nationwide competitive funding opportunity will not only remove marine debris, but address some of its greatest impacts by targeting the largest and most damaging debris and preventing its reaccumulation in the environment. All awardees are also encouraged to support the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion when performing their work, including working with tribal, environmental justice, and fishing communities that traditionally have been underserved.

This competition focused on two priority areas. Priority 1 focused on removing large marine debris, such as abandoned and derelict vessels and derelict fishing gear, and Priority 2 on using proven interception technologies to capture marine debris. These two priorities were reviewed as separate, parallel tracks under the funding opportunity.

Priority 1:

  • BoatUS Foundation (National, $10,000,000) 
  • Center for Coastal Studies (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, $2,718,531)
  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, $7,725,000) 
  • Isla Mar Research Expeditions (Puerto Rico, $4,000,000) 
  • Lynnhaven River NOW (Virginia, $2,944,135)
  • National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (Multi-state, $14,999,292)
  • North Carolina Coastal Federation (North Carolina, $4,500,000) 
  • Pacific Coastal Research & Planning (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Freely Associated States, $4,000,000)
  • Pinellas County Government (Florida, $2,250,000)
  • Stockton University (New Jersey, $1,429,812)
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks (Alaska, $5,850,000)
  • Virginia Institute of Marine Science (National, $8,000,000)

Priority 2:

  • California Department of Parks and Recreation (California, $268,881)
  • University of Florida (Florida, $747,944)

For more information on this year’s recommended projects, please visit the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s website.