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September 18, 2023

Maine Delegation Announces Funding Opportunities for Debris Removal in Coastal Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden announced that $19 million in federal funding is now available to combat marine debris in coastal communities through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Sea Grant Program. This grant program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will support healthy marine ecosystems nationwide. The funding opportunities are part of nearly $3 billion in targeted investments by NOAA in the areas of habitat restoration, coastal resilience and weather forecasting infrastructure through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“As residents of the most beautiful coastal state, we deeply value the long-term health of our oceans and coastal communities,” the Maine delegation said. “This funding will help organizations and non-profits keep our oceans clean in groundbreaking ways. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has already proved itself as a once-in-generation investment in our state’s future success so we are pleased to see additional targeted investments will be available to support coastal communities.”

There are two funding opportunities available for interested applicants:

  1. The Marine Debris Challenge Competition will include approximately $16 million in funding available to support innovative, transformational research-to-application projects that will address the prevention and removal of marine debris, with award periods of three years. This opportunity is open to any person or group within the United States or its territories, as well as tribal nations within those geographies. Applicants must submit proposals in partnership with a relevant Sea Grant Program. Please note that it is not a requirement that investigators, including the principal investigator, be part of a Sea Grant program. 
  1. The Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions opportunity will include approximately $3 million in funding available to support the creation of coalitions and partnerships to address marine debris prevention and removal. Applications for this opportunity must be submitted through a Sea Grant Program, and partnerships are encouraged.

Senator Collins was a member of the core group of 10 Senators who negotiated the infrastructure package, which includes money for marine debris removal programs. Senator King was also a key negotiator of the package securing $47 billion for climate change and coastal resiliency in addition to transformational investments in broadband infrastructure. Reps. Pingree and Golden strongly supported the House passage of the bipartisan infrastructure law, which is expected to deliver approximately $2.5 billion to Maine over the next five years for critical broadband, transportation, energy, and environmental projects. 


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