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Louisiana Sea Grant Recipient of Marine Debris Grants

Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) is the recipient of $595,000 in grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sea Grant office to address the prevention and removal of marine debris. The two projects are:

Photo: Marine Litter

Consider Litter:
Data-Driven, Community-Centered Marine Debris Prevention and Mitigation

Federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) totals $295,748.

Summary: The project is designed to empower community members (students, teachers, businesses and local leaders) in dialogue and stewardship on the removal and prevention of marine debris from Louisiana’s Barataria, Pontchartrain and Terrebonne basins—communities disproportionately impacted by pollution and historically marginalized. By focusing on Title I schools, Consider Litter will build a network of visible and diverse community stewards who can monitor litter in their communities and compile data that can help inform resulting prevention/mitigation projects. The principal investigator is Dani DiIullo, LSG education and engagement director, and the project is being coordinated in partnership with the Pontchartrain Conservancy.

Fostering Community Partnership and Understanding Financial Vulnerabilities to Reduce Marine Debris and Enhance Louisiana’s Resilience to Disaster

Federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) totals $299,638.

Summary: The project is designed to improve awareness of the issues surrounding storm-transported litter in Louisiana. Trainings with the Financial Debris Management Simulation tool will help municipalities with underrepresented populations understand their financial vulnerability to storm events in terms of clean-up costs. Additionally, youth and community outreach will ed

ucate on the consequences of litter/marine debris and promote environmental stewardship through clean-up activities. Project lead is Julie Lively, LSG executive director.

“Litter is such a pervasive problem across Louisiana, and is very easy to become marine debris, especially after all the tropical storms and heavy rain events we see,” said Lively. “This is a great opportunity to combine research, education and extension with communities to improve the situation.“

NOAA Sea Grant awarded a total of $27 million in marine debris projects throughout the United States. Projects were competitively selected through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and leveraging funds from the Inflation Reduction Act: The Marine Debris Challenge Competition and The Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions.

“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 full list of Marine Debris Challenge (BIL) projects and descriptions is available here. And the full list of Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions (IRA) projects and descriptions is available here.

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 federal government-wide investment that furthers NOAA’s efforts to build a Climate-Ready Nation. The law’s 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 represent Sea Grant’s starting efforts to support marine debris prevention and removal over the next five years through this legislation.