• NOAA awards nearly $1M for marine debris cleanup

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A federal agency is providing nearly $1 million in grants to support marine debris cleanup projects in U.S. coastal regions.

    NOAA says in a release that the funding will be used to remove derelict vessels, trash, tires and other debris from coastal waters and shorelines. NOAA says the projects were chosen from among 46 applications requesting a total of nearly $5 million in funding.

    Cleanup projects sharing in the $967,000 in approved funding are in Alabama, Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, New York, North Carolina, Washington state and Puerto Rico.

    Applications are due Nov. 1 for the next funding cycle. It is not yet clear how much money will be available for that next round.

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  • Cantwell Applauds Ocean Shores Tsunami Debris Meeting

    OCEAN SHORES, Wash. – Yesterday U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement regarding the ongoing effort to monitor and address the threat approaching tsunami debris poses to Washington’s coastal communities. Wednesday in Ocean Shores, federal and local agencies, tribes, and community organizations held a workshop to continue forging strategies for responding to tsunami debris.

    I applaud regional stakeholders for coming together today to forge ahead on local tsunami debris cleanup strategies, this coordinated initiative is a step in the right direction in protecting Washington state’s coastal communities and economy. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell

    “Just last month, we marked the one-year anniversary of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan that killed thousands and sent an enormous amount of debris out to sea,” Cantwell continued in the letter. “One year later, our local agencies need additional tools and resources in order to protect Washington state’s $10.8 billion dollar coastal economy. I will continue working to ensure we have an aggressive plan in place to protect Washington coastal communities and jobs.”

    On March 30th in Seattle, Cantwell and Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) called on President Obama to allocate emergency resources to mobilize National Science Foundation research to help track and respond to tsunami debris. Expediting NSF grants would help Washington coastal communities get more specific estimates of what might hit shores – and when.

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