NFWF Announces $263,000 in Grants to Support Marine Debris Prevention in U.S. Coastlines

Washington D.C. - September 15, 2015 — The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the fifth round of grant awards from the Fishing for Energy Partnership, which helps commercial and recreational fishermen and boaters reduce the amount of fishing gear lost in the marine environment.

The four grants for 2015 total more than $263,000 and will be matched by nearly $160,000 in additional support from the grantees. NFWF’s Fishing for Energy Partnership is supported by Covanta, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program.

“With this fifth round of grants from the Fishing for Energy Partnership, we continue to invest in innovative strategies that help coastal communities minimize the negative effects of lost fishing gear through important research and educational opportunities,” said Jeff Trandahl, Executive Director and CEO of NFWF.

These projects further the Fishing for Energy Partnership's mission to reduce the adverse economic and environmental impacts of derelict fishing gear.” said Nancy Wallace, Division Chief of the NOAA Marine Debris Program. “We are excited to support these projects, and look forward to sharing the results with our partners.”

“The world’s oceans and waterways are in danger from derelict fishing gear and marine debris,” said Margretta Morris, Covanta Vice President of Materials Management and Community Affairs. “Covanta and our partners have worked with ports and grantees across the country to collect dangerous gear and debris – over two million pounds since 2008. We are proud to continue to expand our focus and resources on education and research programs to raise awareness and learn more about this growing environmental problem.”

The Fishing for Energy Partnership, launched in 2008, reduces the amount of abandoned fishing gear that accumulates in U.S. coastal waters by offering commercial fishermen a no-cost opportunity to dispose of old, lost or unusable fishing gear at designated locations throughout the country. Collected gear and debris is recycled and processed to generate electricity at Covanta Energy-from-Waste facilities. The partnership also awards grants that prevent gear loss, minimize the impact of lost gear, and remove derelict gear from the ocean.

Lost nets and other heavy fishing equipment can damage ecosystems as they are moved by tides and waves along the sea floor. Derelict gear also continues to catch fish and other marine species in a destructive phenomenon known as “ghost fishing.” Lost fishing gear also can impact navigational safety, damage active fishing equipment and boats, and cause economic repercussions for coastal industries and communities across the country.

The 2015 Fishing for Energy Partnership grants include:

Engaging Recreational Boaters in the Prevention of Commercial Fixed Gear Debris
The Boat U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water
Fishing for Energy Grant: $105,699