NOAA Marine Debris removal funding available; includes derelict fishing gear

The NOAA Marine Debris Program FY17 Community-based Marine Debris Removal federal funding opportunity is now open. Brief summary:

This opportunity provides funding to support locally-driven, marine debris assessment and removal projects that will benefit coastal habitat, waterways, and NOAA trust resources. Funding for this purpose comes through the NOAA Marine Debris Program. Projects awarded through this grant competition implement on-the-ground marine debris removal activities, with priority for those targeting medium- large-scale debris, including derelict fishing gear. There is also a secondary priority for projects that conduct post-removal habitat monitoring to assess the beneficial impacts of debris removal. Through this solicitation NOAA fosters awareness of the effects of marine debris to further the conservation of living marine resource habitats, and contributes to the understanding of marine debris composition, distribution and impacts. Typical awards will range from $50,000 to $150,000.

To read more about this grant opportunity, download the Federal Funding Opportunity and the Guidance for Applicants, and view a list of previously funded projects, please go to to the MDP website:

To view the announcement on please go to:
To discuss project ideas, please feel free to Nir Barnea:
For specific questions about the funding opportunity, please contact Tom Barry

Internship position available

Applications due August 19th. The West Coast Marine Debris Alliance in cooperation with NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation has an internship available for a masters student or person with a masters degree to help test and improve NOAA’s marine debris tracker app on the west coast. $3000 stipend available. Please see the Internship description for details.

New NOAA report: effects of marine debris on coastal, benthic habitats

Abstract: Marine debris produces a wide variety of environmental, economic, safety, health, and cultural impacts and is rapidly achieving recognition as a key anthropogenic threat to global oceanic ecosystems. A central theme of research on habitat degradation via marine debris is determining the impact of specific types of debris (abandoned or derelict fishing gear and plastics in particular) on sensitive habitats. This report explores the impacts of marine debris as they affect coastal and ocean habitats, including sandy beaches, salt marshes, mangrove forests, coral reefs and hard bottom, seagrass, benthic sediments, and oyster reefs. Other important habitats—such as areas with kelp and macroalgae, rocky intertidal areas, and freshwater systems such as the Great Lakes region—are lacking research on the effects of marine debris and are in need of more attention regarding habitat impacts.

It is important to understand the nature and extent of the impacts caused by marine debris on marine habitats, which can directly affect many other parts of the ecosystem. Learning more about this problem enables us to better address it in the future.New report of effects of marine debris on coastal

New video: Derelict Purse Seine Removal

Here is a link to a new video highlighting a derelict purse seine removal from marine waters off of Pender Island, British Columbia. The project was a partnership between World Animal Protection and the Northwest Straits Foundation. Field operations were managed by Natural Resources Consultants, Inc. Other support was provided from Emerald Sea Protection Society, Steveston Harbor, Rendezvous Diving and others.

SE Alaska: help needed locating entangled humpback whale

NOAA loses track of entangled whale after satellite tracking buoy becomes disconnected/By Cameron Mackintosh
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are once again asking for the public’s help in locating an entangled humpback whale currently traversing the coastlines of Southeast Alaska. The agency says a satellite buoy being used to track the animal became disconnected on Thursday.

ReThink Disposable: a program to reduce the amount of marine debris-prone items used in the food service industry

Learn about how Clean Water Fund developed Rethink Disposable in partnership with San Francisco Bay Area municipalities to engage local businesses and the public in implementing upstream solutions to reduce the amount of disposable take-out food packaging ending up in creeks and San Francisco Bay. In addition to preventing marine debris, the benefits of reducing and eliminating disposables include: conserving resources, reducing waste, preventing pollution, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the lifecycle of a single-use disposable product from extraction to disposal. Minimizing single-use disposable packaging can provide environmental and economic benefits to local governments and significant cost savings to businesses. Rethink Disposable is helping lead a cultural shift towards making “reusable” the new norm.

This webinar was presented by Samantha Sommer, Waste Prevention Program Manager at Clean Water Fund/Clean Water Action, and it was co-sponsored by the West Coast Marine Debris Alliance,, and the EBM Tools Network.

This webinar originally aired on 18 May 2016. Watch a recording of the webinar on Vimeo or YouTube.