The US government has allocated a further $19 million (~€17.8 million) towards combating the scourge of marine debris.
The funding is part of the Investing in America agenda and is available via the Department of Commerce’s NOAA Sea Grant College Program. The new grants allow NOAA to play a more significant role in enabling coastal communities to remove marine debris and try and prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Two funding opportunities are available with the program include:
- The Marine Debris Challenge Competition, which supports innovative research into preventing and removing marine debris, has $16 million of funding available.
- The Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions Opportunity supports the creation of local coalitions to address the issue of marine debris and has $3 million of funding available.
Commenting on the new funding opportunities, NOAA Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Steve Thur stated:
“Through the Challenge funding opportunity, we will support innovative research that can readily and immediately be applied to prevent and remove marine debris. The goal is that the techniques developed by these awards can be broadly applied to locations around the country, multiplying the environmental and economic impacts of the funding well beyond marine debris removal at a single site.”
On the other hand, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo stated:
“Marine debris degrades water quality, harms habitats and ecosystems and hurts coastal workers and businesses. These funding opportunities, part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which is a key pillar of Bidenomics, will help us tackle the challenges of marine debris head on, helping to restore and protect our coastal marine environments and the communities that rely on them.”
You can find out more about NOAA marine debris funding opportunities here.