Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NOAA Sea Grant announces $27M to further community-engaged marine debris removal and prevention

NOAA Sea Grant is pleased to announce $27 million in projects that will address the prevention and removal of debris in marine and Great Lakes environments throughout the U.S. Using Sea Grant’s partnered approach to bring science together with communities for solutions that work, the projects will support transformational research and the creation of local coalitions to address urgent marine debris prevention and removal needs.

“Marine debris is a pervasive problem, negatively impacting local economies, tourism, wildlife and ecosystems, and human health. The work supported by these projects presents exciting opportunities to tackle a wide range of debris issues, such as microplastics, single-use food packaging and derelict fishing gear, using an assortment of innovative approaches informed by and implemented with communities” said Jonathan Pennock, director of NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program.

The projects were competitively selected through two opportunities supported by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and leveraging funds from the Inflation Reduction Act: The Marine Debris Challenge Competition and The Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions.

Through the Challenge competition, 10 projects across Alabama, Alaska, California, Hawai’i, Maine, Mississippi, New York and South Carolina were recommended for approximately $22 million in total funding. These projects push the boundaries of existing marine debris prevention and removal technologies and approaches, change the current landscape of marine debris mitigation, and tie research to tangible outputs. In Hawai’i, for example, one project will test unmanned aerial vehicles and diver propulsion vehicles for identifying and locating derelict fishing gear, which pose threats to coral reefs, wildlife, and navigation. A second project in Hawai’i will simultaneously develop processes for at-sea removals of large marine debris, such as derelict fishing gear, for recycling into public asphalt roads, which will contribute to a circular economy. Another project, in New York, will develop laundry filters for capturing microplastics shed from fabrics during washing and drying, preventing their entry into coastal waters and oceans. The full list of Marine Debris Challenge projects and descriptions is available here

Complementary to the work of the Challenge projects, the Community Action Coalitions will engage communities, groups and localities, especially those that have been traditionally underserved, to transfer research into action and inform collaborative on-the-ground marine debris removal and prevention efforts. A total of 19 projects across California, Delaware, Hawai’i, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin were recommended for approximately $5 million in total funding. This work includes a collaboration with Gullah Geechee communities in South Carolina to increase marine debris literacy through showcases of art made from locally-collected debris, and paid workforce development opportunities for underserved Cleveland area youth to create training resources for local trash removal devices. The full list of Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions and descriptions is available here.

Both sets of projects will keenly support the principles of justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility as work is performed over the next three years.

This work is a component of nearly $3 billion in targeted investments for NOAA in the areas of habitat restoration, coastal resilience and weather forecasting infrastructure through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help America build resilience to climate change. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a historic, federal government-wide investment that furthers NOAA’s efforts to build a Climate-Ready Nation. The law’s significant investment in NOAA – with funding leveraged from the Inflation Reduction Act – will help to meet the needs of a nation that is ready for and resilient to climate change. The projects announced today represent Sea Grant’s initial efforts to support marine debris prevention and removal over the next five years through this legislation.

Learn more about how NOAA’s infrastructure efforts will help move the needle toward building a Climate Ready Nation.

Learn about complementary efforts to support marine debris prevention and removal through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law from the NOAA Marine Debris Program.

Learn more about Sea Grant’s work in marine debris removal and prevention.

Picture of Hallee Meltzer

Hallee Meltzer

Communications Coordinator
National Sea Grant College Program

Related Posts
Four people install substrate for an oyster reef.

Biden-Harris Administration invests $60 million to build a climate-ready workforce through Investing in America agenda

Today, the Department of Commerce and NOAA announced $60 million in funding to help train and place people in jobs that advance a climate-ready workforce for coastal and Great Lakes states, Tribes and Territories as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda under the Inflation Reduction Act. To date, awards like these from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda have created more than 270,000 jobs across the country.

The funding will support nine projects around the nation, with $50 million going directly to the projects and $10 million for technical assistance to support the grantees.

Read More >

Sea Grant Aquaculture Academy in New Hampshire

Sea Grant aquaculture professionals from across the country convened in Portsmouth, NH in early April for a 4-day intensive “Sea Grant Aquaculture Academy” hosted by New Hampshire Sea Grant with support from North Carolina Sea Grant.

Read More >
Images of Sea Grant's work in research, education and extension provided by (from left to right) Wisconsin, Guam and Florida Sea Grant programs. Design by Hallee Meltzer | National Sea Grant Office.

Sea Grant takes center stage in Oceanography special issue

NOAA Sea Grant-funded research and work with coastal and Great Lakes communities across the nation are being highlighted in a special issue of “Oceanography,” the official journal of The Oceanography Society. 

This special issue, published in April 2024, features 36 articles contributed by Sea Grant authors across 29 programs and the NOAA National Sea Grant Office. 

Read More >
Scroll to Top