Christie Administration Announces Federal Funding Available To New Jersey Municipalities For Marine Debris Removal

Grants May Be Used For Post-Sandy Or Non-Sandy Debris Removal

Trenton, NJ – New Jersey municipalities currently have an opportunity to apply for federal grants for marine debris removal that can help deal with the remnants of Superstorm Sandy, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.

The grants will come through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) 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. While grants may be awarded for the cleanup of left over 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 fiscal year 2014. Typical awards will range from $50,000 to $150,000.

NOAA recently advised the state of the grants for New Jersey municipalities which have just a short application window, until November 1, to apply. 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.

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.

The Christie Administration last week announced that the coordinated DEP-organized, post-Superstorm Sandy clean-up of New Jersey waterways, performed by three state-hired contractors since March, will cease on October 30.

To date, that unprecedented clean-up has yielded removal of more than 101,000 cubic yards of debris and more than 360,000 cubic yards of sediment from New Jersey waterways. With the passing of the October 30 deadline, municipalities are again solely responsible for the safety of their beaches and hazards in the water.

To view NOAA’s announcement for Marine Debris Program funding, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/docs/2014marine-debris-ffo.pdf

For more information on NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, visit: http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/welcome.html

For more information on DEP’s post-Sandy water debris removal efforts, visit: http://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/552013/approved/20131018a.html

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Press Contact:
Michael Drewniak
Colin Reed
609-777-2600

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