The Hawai'i State Department of Health (DOH) with assistance from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has awarded six local nonprofit community groups grant funds to help address Japan Tsunami Marine Debris (JTMD) and keep Hawai'i's shorelines clean. The focus is on potential debris originating from the tsunami that devastated Japan in March 2011.
"The six grants totaling $100,000 complement ongoing efforts by community groups that are already working to address marine debris, including debris originating from the Japan tsunami," said Gary Gill, deputy director of the DOH Environmental Health Administration. "For years, Hawai'i has depended on volunteers to keep marine debris off our beaches. Today, we are providing a little support for the very big job they do."
The selected projects will help to reduce the impacts of marine debris from alien species, marine life entanglement, economic costs and human health and safety.
The $20,000 grant for Maui County went to the Hawai'i Wildlife Fund.
Awardees and projects are located within Kauai, Maui, Hawai'i and Honolulu Counties with a focus on areas that typically receive the most marine debris. A map of these areas is available at www.hawaii.gov/health/epo. Project selection was based in part on confirmed JTMD items and areas known to accumulate the most marine debris.
To date, there have been eight confirmed JTMD items in Hawai'i and more than 1,700 reports of potential JTMD in the U.S. and Canada.
For guidance on what to do if you see debris in Hawai'i's ocean or beaches, visit dlnr.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/JTMD-Guideline3.pdf.