NOVEMBER 30, 2018 — On November 16, the NOAA Marine Debris Program announced $17.2 million in grants to coastal states and territories impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
These grant awards will aid in coastal recovery efforts by supporting marine debris assessment, removal, and disposal. The disaster relief funding was provided by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
While a great deal of marine debris has already been removed by FEMA and other agencies during emergency response operations, large amounts of debris still remain. Following the disaster, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program worked with the states and territories to determine additional marine debris removal needs. This funding will support post-storm surveys and mapping of marine debris accumulation hot spots, and the removal and disposal of vessels, derelict fishing gear and traps, damaged piers, pilings, and other large-scale debris.
Cleanup of the debris will benefit sensitive habitats such as near-shore reefs, mangroves, and protected areas such as National Estuarine Research Reserves in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. NOAA awarded these noncompetitive grants to recipients in Florida, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
For more information, please contact Tom.Barry@noaa.gov.