EPA Helps Prevent Plastic Trash in New Jersey and New York Waters

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Posted: Monday, March 28, 2016 8:51 pm

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has provided $365,000 to the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission to fund local projects that will prevent plastic trash polluting water bodies in New Jersey and New York. Projects may include a variety of plastic trash prevention solutions, including those that: implement source reduction and demonstrate prevention of trash from entering water bodies. Projects that are replicable and focus on upstream plastic trash prevention, and projects that benefit low-income communities near waterbodies will be prioritized.

"Our oceans and lakes and rivers are being choked with plastic debris," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "Estimates are that by 2025 there will be 1 ton of plastic for every 3 tons of fish in the world’s oceans. This funding will help jumpstart real solutions that will reduce plastic waste at the source."

Aquatic plastic pollution is getting worse every year. It is estimated that more than 8 million metric tons of plastic pollution enter the world’s oceans annually. By 2025, this amount is expected to more than double. A recent study by NY/NJ Baykeeper showed that at least 165 million plastic particles are floating in the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary at any given time.

The EPA funding is being awarded through a competitive grant process run by New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission will help stimulate creative, common sense solutions to the burgeoning problem of plastics in lakes, streams, harbors and oceans. Academic and educational institutions, local governments, and non-profit organizations are all eligible to apply for the funding. Funding requests should be a minimum of $45,000.

This $365,000 in funding is being provided through the EPA’s New York/New Jersey Aquatic Trash Prevention Grant Program, which is designed to fund projects that help meet the goals of the EPA’s Trash Free Waters program. This grant program is focused on projects that will support the Trash Free Waters initiative’s goal of reducing the volume of plastic trash entering fresh and marine water environments, approaching zero-loading of trash into U.S. waters within 10 years.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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