The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing $365,000 in grant funding through the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) for projects that will prevent plastic trash pollution in the waterways of New Jersey and New York.
An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic pollution find their way into oceans each year, and the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary has at least 165 million plastic particles floating through it at any given time, according to a study by NY/NJ Baykeeper.
“Our oceans and lakes and rivers are being choked with plastic debris,” EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck said. “Estimates are that by 2025 there will be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in the world’s oceans. This funding will help jumpstart real solutions that will reduce plastic waste at the source.”
The EPA funding will be awarded through a grant program administered by the NEIWPCC. Eligible projects include measures to reduce source pollution and upstream plastic trash prevention. Projects that are replicable and those that will benefit low-income communities will be prioritized. Academic and educational institutions, local governments and non-profit organizations can apply for the grant program until May 10.