FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Susan Buchanan
News Releases 2005
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a member of the New Bedford Harbor Trustee Council, announces the availability of two council grant solicitations totaling $6 million for projects to benefit the New Bedford Harbor environment. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The council is composed of representatives of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, the Commerce Department’s NOAA Fisheries, and the Interior Department’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The council is responsible for the restoration of natural resources harmed by hazardous material contamination from electronics manufacturer discharges during the late 1940’s to 1977.
Applications are available online at http://www.grants.gov and must be received by 5:00 p.m., March 18, 2005. Details on the grant solicitations and previously funded New Bedford Harbor restoration projects are available at http://www.darp.noaa.gov/northeast/new_bedford/index.html
The first solicitation makes approximately $500,000 available for projects to construct and operate shellfish seed growout facilities that will provide the New Bedford Harbor Regional Shellfish Restoration Committee with quahog seed annually for a minimum of five years to enhance shellfish populations in the New Bedford Harbor environment.
The second solicitation intends to fund up to $5.5 million for restoration projects that address the natural resource injury within the New Bedford Harbor environment. This is the third such round of funding for restoration projects. The solicitation identifies the following priorities: marshes and/or wetlands; recreation areas; water column; habitats; living resources and endangered species.
Settlement funds obtained from the responsible manufacturers provides grant money for projects to restore, replace or acquire the equivalent of natural resources that were harmed by contamination.
In 1983, federal and state trustees filed complaints against electronic manufacturers in federal district court in Boston alleging causes of action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act for injuries to natural resources under their trusteeship that had resulted from releases of hazardous substances, including PCBs. The complaints were resolved in 1992 through settlement agreements with the electronic manufacturers who paid $109 million for cleanup of the harbor, restoration of injured natural resources, and reimbursement of funds already expended. The New Bedford Harbor Trustee Council was created as a result of the settlements.
NOAA Fisheries is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.
On the Web:
NOAA Fisheries: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov
information about the New Bedford Harbor grants and examples of funded
restoration projects under the previous two round:
apply online and to obtain application materials: http://www.grants.gov