Nonprofit gets grant for debris clearing

The Paia-based Hawai’i Wildlife Fund will get a $231,660 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for a three-year project to remove 112 metric tons of abandoned fishing gear and marine debris from the coastlines of Maui, Lanai, Hawaii island and Kauai, according to an announcement from U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.

With the help of the Kauai chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and Pulama Lana’i, the project will include weekly fishing net and large debris patrols along remote stretches of coastline and quarterly community-based cleanup events, the announcement said.

“This funding will help these local organizations continue to preserve and restore one of our state’s most impressive and renowned resources — our coastlines,” said Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Fishing net bundles will be shipped to Oahu as contributions to NOAA’s Nets-to-Energy program, which uses lost, abandoned and discarded fishing nets to produce electricity.