NFWF Seeks Proposals for Fishing for Energy Grant Program

WASHINGTON, D.C., (February 16, 2018) — The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced a request for proposals for the Fishing for Energy Grant Program. Up to $2 million in grant funding is available to support strategies that reduce the impacts of derelict fishing gear in marine and coastal environments. 

Fishing for Energy launched in 2008 through a partnership that includes Covanta, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, Schnitzer Steel Industries and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The program provides anglers with cost-free solutions to dispose of old, derelict or unusable fishing gear, thereby reducing the amount of derelict fishing gear in and around our coastal waterways. 

“The Fishing for Energy partnership is a true testament to the power of public-private partnerships, as together we have recovered more than 3.5 million pounds of derelict fishing gear and marine debris and used it to generate clean energy for thousands of homes and businesses across the country,” said Margretta Morris, Covanta’s vice president for materials management and community affairs. “The grant program takes it one step further by supporting the great work of organizations that are working to reduce this constant threat to the marine environment and ensure our waterways remain healthy and clean.”   

Grants will target areas in U.S. coastal waters with state or regional plans that have identified and prioritized reductions in derelict fishing gear. Priority locations include:

  • ​The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and other important habitat for sea turtles and marine mammals in coastal waters along South Florida
  • The Gulf of Maine, in areas that are identified as priority for northern right whales
  • Puget Sound, in priority habitat for killer whales as referenced in management plans
  • Hawaii, within the borders of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
  • Areas along Alaska that are important to marine mammals and have disposal access points through Dutch Harbor or Kodiak Harbor

“Derelict fishing gear entangles and kills marine animals, degrades habitat and poses a hazard to navigation,” Nancy Wallace of the NOAA Marine Debris Program said. “The NOAA Marine Debris Program has supported prevention and removal of derelict fishing gear for years, and welcomes NFWF support of additional efforts to reduce this form of marine debris.” 

“Derelict fishing gear takes a heavy toll on marine wildlife across the country,” Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF, said. “Lost gear can accumulate over time, and storms can move these masses around, scouring fragile habitats such as coral reefs and sea grass beds. The Fishing for Energy program helps reduce the amount of derelict gear going into these environments while also removing what is already out there.”

The majority of awards under this program will fall in the range of $100,000 to $500,000. To learn more about the program or apply for a grant, visit

About NFWF
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.8 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at

About the NOAA
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and our other social media channels.

About Covanta
Covanta is a world leader in providing sustainable waste and energy solutions. Annually, Covanta’s modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste from municipalities and businesses into clean, renewable electricity to power one million homes and recycle approximately 500,000 tons of metal. Through a vast network of treatment and recycling facilities, Covanta also provides comprehensive industrial material management services to companies seeking solutions to some of today’s most complex environmental challenges. For more information, visit​.





Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166


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