WASHINGTON, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Fishing for Energy, the unique partnership providing fishermen with a cost-free solution to recycle and recover energy from old fishing gear, has received the Coastal America Partnership Award. This award is presented to groups for their outstanding efforts to protect, preserve, and restore the nation's coastal resources and ecosystems through collaborative action and partnership.
Established in 2008, Fishing for Energy is an initiative among Covanta Energy Corporation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, and Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Fishing for Energy is dedicated to reducing the financial burden placed on commercial fishermen as they routinely dispose of retired fishing gear and to reducing the amount of gear that ends up in U.S. coastal waters.
Abandoned or lost fishing gear can threaten marine life, impact navigational safety, and have economic repercussions on fishing and shipping enterprises and coastal communities. Gear collected at participating ports is stripped of metals for recycling with the help of Schnitzer Steel and processed into clean, renewable energy at the nearest Covanta Energy-from-Waste facility.
At an awards ceremony held today in Washington DC, Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii spoke about the importance of addressing the problem of marine debris in innovative ways and the value of working together in partnership. Fishing for Energy was modeled after a successful, similar multi-partner program in Hawaii. "Fishing for Energy is a powerful example of the success that can come of a partnership between government, the non-governmental organization community, and private industry," said Senator Daniel K. Inouye. "By providing a no-cost solution for fishermen to dispose of old, derelict, or unusable fishing gear and easing the burden of high costs associated with the disposal of old fishing gear, Fishing for Energy is providing benefits that bind fishing communities to the belief that actively addressing marine debris protects their catch, the marine ecosystem, and their bottom line."
The Coastal America Partnership is an action-oriented, results-driven organization dedicated to restoring and preserving coastal ecosystems and addressing critical environmental issues made up of federal agencies, state and local governments, and private organizations. Coastal America maximizes the environmental and economic benefits – and minimizes the costs – of addressing complex watershed, coastal, and marine problems.
Fishing for Energy thrives due to extensive cooperation between government, private, public and local organizations. The diversity and unparalleled expertise of the partners results in a unique, community-focused program that addresses a marine environmental issue, reduces costs for small commercial fishing businesses, recycles metal and recovers energy from the remaining material.
Since 2008, Fishing for Energy has reeled in more than 700,000 pounds of old fishing gear, a portion of which has been retrieved directly from the ocean by fishermen. In 2010 the partnership has expanded to include grant programs that directly support efforts to remove derelict fishing gear from U.S. coastal waters and it will continue to partner with new ports to promote the collection of retired or derelict fishing gear through community education and outreach. For more information on the partnership visit: www.nfwf.org/fishingforenergy.
Covanta Energy is an internationally recognized owner and operator of large-scale Energy-from-Waste and renewable energy projects and a recipient of the Energy Innovator Award from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Covanta's 45 Energy-from-Waste facilities provide communities with an environmentally sound solution to their solid waste disposal needs by using that municipal solid waste to generate clean, renewable energy. Annually, Covanta's modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely and securely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste into more than 9 million megawatt hours of clean renewable electricity and create 10 billion pounds of steam that are sold to a variety of industries. For more information, visit www.covantaenergy.com.
About National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
A nonprofit established by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation sustains, restores and enhances the Nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Through leadership conservation investments with public and private partners, NFWF is dedicated to achieving maximum conservation impact by developing and applying best practices and innovative methods for measurable outcomes. Since its establishment, NFWF has awarded nearly 9,500 grants to over 3,000 organizations in the United States and abroad and leveraged – with its partners – more than $400 million in federal funds into more than $1.3 billion for on-the-ground conservation. For more information, visit www.nfwf.org.
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program, housed within the Office of Response & Restoration, coordinates, strengthens, and increases the visibility of marine debris issues and efforts within the agency, its partners, and the public. The program supports activities at both a national and international level focused on identifying, reducing and preventing debris from entering the marine environment. NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) protects coastal and marine resources, mitigates threats, reduces harm, and restores ecological function. The Office provides comprehensive solutions to environmental hazards caused by oil, chemicals, and marine debris. For more information, visit: www.noaa.gov.
About Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of recycled ferrous metal products in the United States. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Schnitzer Steel operates 42 facilities in 13 states, including seven export facilities on both the East and West coasts, as well as in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The company's vertically integrated operating platform also includes its auto parts and steel manufacturing businesses. The auto parts business sells used auto parts through its 38 self-service facilities and 18 full-service facilities located in 16 states and western Canada. With an annual production capacity of nearly 800,000 tons, Schnitzer's steel manufacturing business produces finished steel products, including rebar, wire rod and other specialty products. Schnitzer Steel Industries commenced its 103rd year of operations in 2009.
SOURCE Fishing for Energy