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New Grants Spur More than $1.5 Million in Conservation Action
to Benefit New Jersey
Garbage Gone, Birds on the Flyway, Fish Run and Water Clean
NEWS for IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Charles Rowe, United States Coast Guard,
347-585-2901 Rebekah Carmichael, Office of United States Attorney, District of New Jersey, 347-585-2901
Laura Bishop, Thomas Boyd Associates, 609-405-0129
LYNDHURST, New Jersey – The U.S. Attorney for New Jersey and the U.S. Coast Guard Sectors New York and Delaware Bay today announced 19 new grants totaling $1,531,391 to promote the health and living resources of the coast and oceans of New Jersey.
The grants were funded by community service payments made by three shipping companies as part of their criminal sentences for violating federal laws aimed at eliminating vessel pollution. The three criminal cases were U.S. v. Clipper Wonsild Tankers Holding A/S et. al., U.S. v. Dalnave Navigation Inc., and U.S. v. Holy House Shipping AB. The prosecution of the cases by the U.S. Attorney’s Office was made possible through the combined efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division.
United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman said “Criminal environmental laws are important tools for the protection of natural resources that sustain and enrich the lives of all Americans. The strong enforcement of these laws ensures that those who violate them are both punished for their conduct and made part of the solution, providing funds for vital projects. The international discharge of oil from vessel releases millions of gallons of oil into navigable waters. It is particularly gratifying to be part of a process that takes money from those who knowingly damage the environment and gives it to those who work to heal it.”
New Jersey is surrounded by water except along its northern border with New York. With 127 miles of coast, New Jersey’ beach and ocean environment generates 500,000 jobs and as much as $50 billion annually from recreation, New Jersey is also a Site of Hemispheric Importance for shorebirds, placing parts of the state in the elite company of fewer than two dozen other areas with this designation in the entire Western Hemisphere. These are just a few factors confirming that protection, restoration and management of the coast are key to the environmental and economic future of the state.
“These projects will mitigate the environmental impacts of illegal dumping and bring additional benefits to the fish, wildlife, and communities that were affected,” said Capt. Robert O’Brien Jr., Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector New York. “I want to thank everyone who worked to ensure that these penalities would be used in those areas impacted by negligent pollution. I’m proud that the Coast Guard is part of this collaborative effort to protect and restore the unique natural resources of New Jersey.”
"The funds from this settlement will directly improve the health and natural resources of New Jersey,” said Capt. Meredith Austin, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay. "We are pleased to find a direct means to remedy environmental damage to this precious resource by funding a host of projects that support restoration of signature coastal resources of the State.”
The new grants announced today will deliver multiple environmental and conservation benefits, including five projects that will remove and dispose of 170 tons of large and small marine debris some of which have littered the coast and ocean of New Jersey for decades. Five projects will aid 500,000 shorebirds along the 127 miles of New Jersey coastline, the superhighway of spring bird migration. Four grants will help restore important native, commercial and recreational fisheries through dam removal, restoration of degraded but historic oyster habitat in an urban estuary, and projects to halt the decline of river herring by reducing bycatch. Three projects will engage proactive oil spill response training; help boaters protect water quality through clean boater education and allow13 marinas to reduce water pollution into waterways from their operations. Another two projects will guide river and wetland protection in New Jersey and directly restore 6.5 aces of riparian and wetland restoration at an urban park in Trenton.
“Finding new ways to conserve our coasts and oceans is a high priority for the Foundation” said Mike Slattery, Director, Eastern Partnership Office, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. “We applaud the leadership shown by the U.S. Attorney and the U.S. Coast Guard to direct critical resources to support local conservation to help restore declining numbers of birds and fish and stem loss of habitat in the New Jersey.”
“New Jersey’s Delaware River Basin covers 2,969 square miles, from the Kittatinny Valley in Warren and Sussex Countiesthrough the Cape May County Bayshores in the south. New Jersey benefits from the many resources the river provides, such as clean drinking water, fishing, and recreation.” Says Barbara Brummer, State Director for the Nature Conservancy in New Jersey. “We are grateful to receive funding from these community service payments and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support our work to develop a comprehensive conservation plan for the Delaware.”
The United States Attorney is the chief federal law enforcement officer within the federal judicial district of New Jersey which comprises the entire state. The office represents the United States and has responsibility for, among other things, the prosecution of criminal cases brought by the federal government, including the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.
United States Coast Guard Sectors areshore-based operational units. Each Sector is responsible for the execution of all Coast Guard missions in their areas of responsibility which include protecting the public, our ports, the environment and U.S. economic interests through the prevention and mitigation of maritime incidentswith operational support from Coast Guard Cutters and Air Stations. Sector New York's office is located in New York City, NY and its area of responsibility covers parts of New York and New Jersey. It covers nearly 1,000 miles of shoreline and is home to one of the busiest ports (by tonnage) in the country. Sector Delaware Bay’s office is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and its area of responsibility covers a three state area including New Jersey south of Long Branch, the eastern two thirds of Pennsylvania, and Delaware, It covers the entire Delaware River and Bay area including the Delaware River Port Complex, the largest freshwater port in the world. For more information, visit www.uscg.mil.
The community service payments are managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation on behalf of U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Attorney. A nonprofit established by Congress in 1984, NFWF sustains, restores and enhances the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Since its establishment, it has awarded over 10,800 grants to more than 3,700 organizations in the United States and abroad and leveraged – with its partners – more than $635 million in federal funds into more than $1.5 billion for on-the-ground conservation. For more information, visit www.nfwf.org.
Marine Debris Projects
· Working Together to Clear Marine Debris and Improve our Coastal Habitats, Clean Cape May, Award: $40,000, Location: Great Egg Harbor, New Jersey
· Removing Debris Along Upper Edge of Tidal Marsh North of Mott's Creek Road, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Award: $29,500, Location: Absecon, New Jersey
· Floatable Marine Debris in Passaic Valley, Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners, Award: $100,000, Location: Passaic Valley, New Jersey
· Removal of Marine Debris from North Beach at Sandy Hook, National Park Service, Award: $46,000, Location: North Beach, Sandy Hook National Park/Gateway National Recreational Area, Highlands, New Jersey
· Removal Telephone Poles, Piers/Boardwalks and Structures at the Brigantine Wilderness Area, Little Beach Island, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Award: $46,000 Location: Galloway Township, Atlantic County, New Jersey
Spill Response and Water Quality Projects
· Marina HAZMAT First Responders, BoatUS Foundation, Award: $178,000, Location: State of New Jersey Marinas
· Wash Water Recycling Systems, New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium/ New Jersey Sea Grant, Clean Marina Program, Award: $130,000, Location: State of New Jersey Marinas
· Clean Boating On-Line Training, BoatUS Foundation, Award: $75,000, Location: State of New Jersey
Bird Conservation Projects
· New Jersey Southern New Jersey American Oystercatcher Conservation, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, Award: $30,000, Location: Southern Coastal and Bay Areas of New Jersey
· Migrant Shorebird Surveys in New Jersey: A Citizen Science Approach, New Jersey Audubon Society, Award: $47,125, Location: State of New Jersey Coast
· Conservation of Migratory Shorebirds in Delaware Bay, New Jersey Audubon Society, Award: $40,000, Location: Cook’s Beach, Cape May County, and Thompson’s Beach , Heislerville and Fortescue Beach, Cumberland County, New Jersey
· Shorebird Stewards Program, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, Award: $50,000, Location: Delaware Bayshore, New Jersey
· Identifying & Implementing Effective Shorebird Conservation Actions, Manomet Center for Conservation Science, Award: $30,000, Location: Brigatine and Forsythe National Wildlife Refuges, New Jersey
Habitat Restoration Projects
· Delaware River Basin Riverine & Wetland Areas Prioritization in New Jersey, The Nature Conservancy, $321,016, Location: Delaware Basin and Estuary portion of New Jersey Coast
· Ecological Restoration in Cadwalder Park, D&R Greenway Trust, Award: $33,750, Location: Trenton, New Jersey
Fisheries and Shellfish Projects
· Riegelsville Dam Removal, Musconetcong Watershed Association, Award: $50,000, Location: Pohatcong Township, Warren County and Holland Township, Hunterdon County, Musconetcong River, New Jersey
· Shrewsbury River Oyster Reef, Raritan Baykeeper (dba – NY/NJ Baykeeper), Award: $50,000, Location: The Shrewsbury River in Monmouth County (Red Bank, Little Silver, Rumson, Oceanport, Middletown), New Jersey
· Determining the Origins of River Herring Bycatch, Recipient: Duke University, Award: $117,500, Location: Exclusive Economic Zone off the New Jersey Coast
· River Herring Bycatch Avoidance in Small-Mesh Fisheries, School of Marine Science and Technology, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth College, Award: $117,500, Location: Exclusive Economic Zone off the New Jersey Coast