Federal Grants Target Plastic Pollution
October 15, 2012
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Marine Debris program has awarded $50,000 to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to catalyze action on reducing plastic litter in the ocean.
Through the program, the Aquarium "will train 100 teachers to teach 7,500 students to lead 40 local community action projects to reduce sources of ocean plastics," according to a newsletter from the Central Coast Ag Task Force.
A second EPA grant of $164,245 to the Product Stewardship Institute will fund an effort to reduce disposable plastic packaging by 40 percent on three University of California campuses: Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and San Diego. The results will help generate a model for similar programs for higher-ed institutions and fast-food restaurants.
"Reducing waste at the source, rather than just cleaning it up, is key to protecting our coastal waters," Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, stated in the press announcement. "These two projects are big steps forward to reducing the amount of trash that ends up in our rivers, oceans, and estuaries."