Derelict fishing nets, ghost crab pots, coils of abandoned monofilament fishing line, and other marine debris will be removed from shorelines across the country with funding of $1.1 million from a public-private partnership.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Debris Program have announced the funding of 12 grants totaling more than $1.1 million.
The grants, which include more than $495,000 in federal funds and an additional $608,000 in matching contributions, were awarded to projects in 10 states and two U.S. territories from proposals received in 2006. Under the program, marine debris will be removed from Chesapeake Bay to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
The foundation will be accepting Marine Debris Grants Program proposals for 2007 beginning in February 2007.
Some of the priorities identified for 2007 funding include creation or improvement of best management practices of ports and marinas to decrease the threat of marine debris to marine life and navigational safety; work with the fishing industry and/or fisheries councils and organizations to develop better solutions to reduce derelict fishing gear in the marine environment; and increased understanding of the sources and impacts of marine debris on marine mammals, sensitive habitats, tourist and fishing industries, and navigational safety.