The NOAA Marine Debris Program Awards Funding to 25 New Projects

Posted Thu, 09/09/2021 - 14:00
Plastic bags, fishing traps, buoys, and other debris piled up on a shoreline of Eastern Egg Rock, Maine.
Plastic bags, fishing traps, buoys, and other debris on a New England shoreline (Credit: National Audubon Society Seabird Restoration Program).

Following a highly competitive review process, the NOAA Marine Debris Program is pleased to announce the 25 recipients of our 2021 Removal, Research, and North America Marine Debris Prevention and Removal Grant awards totaling approximately $7.3 million in federal funds. Federal funding is matched by non-federal contributions, bringing the total investment of these marine debris projects to approximately $14.7 million. Marine debris is a pervasive national and global problem that harms wildlife, navigation safety, ecosystem health, and the economy. 

The Marine Debris Program offers nationwide competitive funding opportunities for projects that improve ecological resources through researching and removing marine debris. This year, the Marine Debris Program also provided funding for projects that prevent and remove marine debris in Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada border areas. 

These projects will improve habitats and other ecological resources, and help build a foundation of knowledge and resources to change behaviors, raise awareness, and promote the long-term prevention of marine debris. The Marine Debris Program is proud to support impactful, community-driven, and cost-effective projects. 

This year's funded projects include:


  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game (Alaska, $143,098)
  • Center for Coastal Studies (Massachusetts, $176,490) 
  • City of Hoboken (New Jersey, $235,129) 
  • Hawai'i Wildlife Fund (Hawaiʻi, $178,552)
  • Mississippi State University (Mississippi, $208,262) 
  • Northwest Straits Foundation (Washington, $166,000) 
  • Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency (California, $330,209) 
  • Scuba Dogs Society (Puerto Rico, $107,970) 
  • South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (South Carolina, $97,006) 
  • Superior Watershed Partnership (Michigan, $122,302) 


  • Rochester Institute of Technology (New York, $332,282) 
  • San Diego State University (California, $293,846) 
  • University of Delaware (Delaware, $300,373) 
  • University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (Maryland, $167,155) 
  • Villanova University (Pennsylvania, $338,123) 

North America Prevention and Removal:

  • Association of U.S. Delegate to the Gulf of Maine Council (Gulf of Maine, $367,839) 
  • City & Borough of Yakutat (Gulf of Alaska, $371,277) 
  • Council of the Great Lakes Region (Great Lakes, $371,729) 
  • Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Mexico, $250,000) 
  • National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (Salish Sea, $225,115) 
  • Ocean Conservancy (North America Pacific Ocean, $631,770) 
  • Parley Foundation (Gulf of Mexico and Mexican Caribbean, $691,684) 
  • Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association (Tijuana River estuary, $574,000) 
  • University of Texas at Austin (Gulf of Mexico, $401,347) 
  • WILDCOAST (Mexico, $175,950) 

For more information on this year’s funded projects, visit the 2021 Removal, Research, and North America Prevention and Removal funding pages on the Marine Debris Program website.