EPA awards $365,000 to keep plastic out of New York and New Jersey waterways
Current estimates suggest that more than 8 million metric tons of plastic pollution flow into the world’s oceans each year, a figure that is projected to double by 2025, and a NY/NJ Baykeeper recently conducted a study that found the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary contains at least 165 million floating plastic particles at any given time.
To combat these figure’s the EPA launched its Trash Free Waters initiative, which hopes to come close to zero-loading of trash in U.S. water within 10 years. The recent grants, part of the New York/New Jeresey Aquatic Trash Prevention 2016 Grant Program, are part of the initiative and were awarded based on a selection process run by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.
"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 1 ton of plastic for every 3 tons of fish in the world's oceans. These projects offer real solutions that focus on reducing plastic waste at the source."
Grant winners include: the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, the North Hudson Sewerage Authority, the Product Stewardship Institute Inc., the Hudson River Foundation/NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program, Cafeteria Culture, the Bronx River Alliance and the Clean Water Fund.