TRENTON â€” New Jersey municipalities have until Nov. 1 to apply for federal grants for marine debris removal that can help deal with the remnants of Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced.
The grants will come through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's marine debris program, which provides annual funding for the implementation of locally-driven, community-based marine debris prevention, assessment and removal projects that benefit coastal habitat and waterways.
NOAA recently advised the state of the grants for New Jersey municipalities. NOAA will not accept proposals for less than $15,000 or for more than $250,000. It anticipates as many as 15 awards will be made to New Jersey cities and towns.
While grants may be awarded for the cleanup of leftover water debris caused by Sandy, it also can be applied to other non-storm marine debris needs.
Funding of up to $2 million is expected to be available for projects in New Jersey in 2014. Typical awards will range from $50,000 to $150,000.
Criteria for proposals include detection and removal of medium- and large-scale debris from coastal habitats; derelict vessel removal and associated vessel debris removal activities; detection and removal of derelict fishing gear, such as abandoned crab or lobster pots, fish nets and synthetic line; and detection and removal from marine, estuarine or beach environments of debris resulting from natural disasters.
Shoreline cleanup projects will be considered only if the project is coupled with a significant outreach program that will reduce or prevent future accumulation of marine debris.
To view NOAA's announcement for Marine Debris Program funding, see http://www.nj.gov/dep/docs/2014marine-debris-ffo.pdf.
For more information on NOAA's Marine Debris Program, see http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/welcome.html.
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