The NOAA Marine Debris Program Awards Funding to Four New Projects to Research Marine Debris

Posted Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:30

After an intensive evaluation process, the NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to announce the four recipients of our 2017 research awards, totaling $935,156 of funding toward marine debris research efforts. Marine debris is a relatively new field of research, and there are many opportunities to advance understanding of how debris impacts the environment. The NOAA Marine Debris Program held a nationwide competitive funding opportunity to support original, hypothesis-driven research projects focused on the ecological risk assessment, exposure studies, and fate and transport of marine debris. These awards continue the Marine Debris Program’s commitment to improve our understanding of the ecological risks associated with marine debris including levels of exposure to debris, as well as the fate and transport of marine debris in nearshore, coastal environments.

This year's funded projects are:

Arizona State University ($195,837) will use a risk assessment framework to quantify microplastics (plastic pieces <5mm in size) in water, sediment, and bivalves at three sites in American Samoa, and assess the types and concentrations of organic contaminants in those microplastics.

The University of Connecticut ($257,531) will identify what effects microplastic consumption has on oysters, what types of microplastics are most likely to be consumed by oysters, and increase understanding of how microplastics are impacting marine resources.

University of North Carolina at Wilmington ($289,098) will assess if  black sea bass consume contaminated microplastics and if microplastics are being transferred between prey and predator species.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution ($192,690) will assess the role of seasonal phytoplankton blooms in increasing the availability of microplastics for sea scallop consumption, and if microplastics serve as means of transferring dangerous bacterial pathogens to scallops.

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 Four New Projects to Research Marine Debris

Posted Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:30

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.

Dr. Murad Abel

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 01:16

Good day,

Is it possible to fund smaller research projects into plastics and economic cost in the San Diego area?

Thank you for your question. The NOAA Marine Debris Program does occasionally fund smaller projects if they align with our program mandates, priorities and State Marine Debris Action Plan goals. Funding is also contingent upon available resources. If you are located in California, we recommend you reach out with the California Marine Debris Regional Coordinator, to discuss your particular project idea.

Matthew R Anderson

Thu, 07/25/2019 - 13:56

Is it possible to fund smaller projects on the East Coast of Florida?
Our office is interested in developing a project looking at ingested plastic debris in waterbirds birds found in The IRL. We would like to use stomach contents (proventriculus and gizzard only) of dead birds encountered in the IRL and/or deceased specimens from licensed rehab facilities.
We plan to use only stomach contents from dead, Non-listed, waterbirds (wading and seabirds).
Thanks for the information
Matthew R Anderson

Hi Matthew,

Thank you for your comment and a member of the Marine Debris team has responded to your email request.


Thu, 08/08/2019 - 15:07

Are there any funding opportunities for conducting microplastic monitoring and research in Puget Sound?

Hi Laura, thank you for reaching out to us about possible funding opportunities! I'd like to recommend two Marine Debris Program sites that will provide more information about funding opportunities, how to apply, and applicant qualifications. This page covers general funding information and from there, you will find information about how to apply. Good luck!