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Congressional Staff Visit Derelict Vessel Removal Project in North Carolina

MARCH 25, 2024 — On March 15, 2024, NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) staff met on Harkers Island, North Carolina with North Carolina Coastal Federation (NCCF) grantees and staff from the offices of U.S. Senators Tom Tillis and Ted Budd to share highlights of their derelict vessel removal project supported by Inflation Reduction Act funds.

NOAA MDP Southeast Regional Coordinator, Caroline Morris and partners at a site visit on derelict vessel.
Large-Scale Marine Debris and Abandoned Derelict Vessel Removal project at Harkers Island, NC. (Image Credit: North Carolina Coastal Federation).

NCCF staff provided remarks about their project that aims to remove 44 derelict vessels along with more than two million pounds of construction materials, dock debris, and derelict fishing gear. The MDP Southeast Regional Coordinator, Caroline Morris, described the Marine Debris Program mission and provided an overview of how Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act funds are being used to fund new projects around the country.

Vessel removal contractors spoke about the quantities of debris they find and remove from their home waters along North Carolina’s outer banks. They talked about the impacts of marine debris on the fragile coastal environment and how marsh grasses grow back rapidly in sites where the contractors have removed debris. 

Last updated Friday, March 29, 2024 11:02am PDT