SOURCE: Fishing for Energy

Fishing for Energy

April 18, 2012 10:09 ET

The Fishing for Energy Partnership Announces 2012 Grant Funding to Reduce the Impacts of Derelict Fishing Gear and Marine Debris

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Apr 18, 2012) - Fishing for Energy, the public-private partnership aimed at reducing the effects of derelict fishing gear and marine debris, today announced the availability of grant funding to provide capacity and incentives to address old, abandoned or derelict fishing gear. The Partnership is currently accepting applications through May 1, 2012.

Since 2008, Fishing for Energy has worked closely with state and local agencies, community and fishermen groups, and local ports to assist in the prevention, removal and disposal of derelict fishing gear. The partnership also facilitates conversations and research at the state and regional levels to address derelict fishing gear at scale. The partnership is made up of Covanta Energy Corporation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program and Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.

Derelict fishing gear lost to the marine environment not only continues ghost fishing but can also entangle operational gear, resulting in destructive impacts to both fishing industries and marine habitats. Along with the grant program, the Fishing for Energy partnership places bins at commercial fishing ports where fishermen can dispose of old, unused or abandoned gear. Through the grant and disposal activities, more than 1.4 million pounds of gear have been collected from commercial fishermen.

Across the United States, states, management councils and regional jurisdictions are assembling to address issues surrounding derelict fishing gear. The West Coast Governor's Alliance put forth a plan to address this topic in California, Oregon and Washington. In Florida, the state developed legislation to remove abandoned and derelict gear from sensitive habitats. A meeting was held in Portland, Maine earlier this year that brought together participants from government, environmental organizations and industry to discuss marine debris in the context of New England.

As part of this meeting, Fishing for Energy partners convened a roundtable, hosting representatives from all four coastal states to discuss gaps and barriers to managing derelict fishing gear in New England. During the roundtable, participants discussed adaptations and new solutions to reduce the loss of gear, address unintended restrictions of voluntary derelict gear removal from old laws and the need for research to better understand the impacts of derelict gear on the species, habitats and industries of this region. A portion of the funding that is available in 2012 targets projects and products identified during this roundtable meeting.

The 2012 solicitation of proposals marks the third cycle of funding available through Fishing for Energy. Priorities for the funding are:

  • At sea derelict fishing gear removal;
  • Gear density assessment;
  • Economic and resource impact assessment.

Proposals that emphasize at least one of these priorities are encouraged from interested parties nationwide. Interested applicants should visit www.nfwf.org/fishingforenergy to find a copy of the Request for Proposals. Pre-proposal applications are due by May 1, 2012 on the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's online grant application system, www.nfwf.org/easygrants.

Fishing for Energy thrives due to extensive cooperation between government, private, public and local organizations. The diversity and unparalleled expertise of the partners results in a unique, community-focused program that addresses a marine environmental issue, reduces costs for small commercial fishing businesses and recycles metal and recovers energy from the remaining material.

About Covanta Energy Corporation

Covanta Energy Corporation is an internationally recognized owner and operator of large-scale Energy-from-Waste and renewable energy projects and a recipient of the Energy Innovator Award from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Covanta's 46 Energy-from-Waste facilities provide communities with an environmentally sound solution to their solid waste disposal needs by using that municipal solid waste to generate clean, renewable energy. Annually, Covanta's modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely and securely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste into 9 million megawatt hours of clean renewable electricity and more than 9 billion pounds of steam that are sold to a variety of industries. For more information, visit www.covantaenergy.com.

About National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

A nonprofit established by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation sustains, restores and enhances the Nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Through leadership conservation investments with public and private partners, NFWF is dedicated to achieving maximum conservation impact by developing and applying best practices and innovative methods for measurable outcomes. Since its establishment, NFWF has awarded nearly 9,500 grants to over 3,000 organizations in the United States and abroad and leveraged - with its partners - more than $400 million in federal funds into more than $1.3 billion for on-the-ground conservation. For more information, visit www.nfwf.org.

About NOAA

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program, housed within the Office of Response & Restoration, coordinates, strengthens, and increases the visibility of marine debris issues and efforts within the agency, its partners, and the public. The program supports activities at both a national and international level focused on identifying, reducing and preventing debris from entering the marine environment. NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) protects coastal and marine resources, mitigates threats, reduces harm, and restores ecological function. The Office provides comprehensive solutions to environmental hazards caused by oil, chemicals, and marine debris. For more information, visit: www.noaa.gov.

About Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.

Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of recycled ferrous metal products in the United States with 56 operating facilities located in 14 states, Puerto Rico and Western Canada. The business has seven deep water export facilities located on both the East and West Coasts and in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The Company's integrated operating platform also includes its auto parts and steel manufacturing businesses. The Company's auto parts business sells used auto parts through its 50 self-service facilities located in 14 states and Western Canada. With an effective annual production capacity of approximately 800,000 tons, the Company's steel manufacturing business produces finished steel products, including rebar, wire rod and other specialty products. The Company commenced its 106th year of operations in fiscal 2012. Schnitzer was named Scrap Company of the Year by American Metals Market's 2011 Awards for Steel Excellence. This award recognizes advancements rooted in pioneering and implementing business improvements that have delivered real change to the steel industry.

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