Gear Retrieval Project Creates Jobs

marine-debris-projectOregon Sea Grant’s early involvement with a pilot project to retrieve lost crab pots helped lay the groundwork for a $699,000 NOAA grant that will hire commercial fishermen to clean up 180 metric tons of abandoned gear off the Oregon coast.

The 2009 Gear Retrieval Project, announced last week by NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco during a visit to Newport, will employ fishermen during the off-season. Working with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the fishermen will locate and remove discarded crab pots, fishing nets and other marine debris that can  trap and kill marine mammals and fish and endanger fishing activities.

In 2006, Sea Grant collaborated with commerical fishing groups and the Oregon Crab Commission to test whether local fishermen could effectively locate and retrieve lost crab pots. In their first two test runs, fishermen found and hauled in nearly 60 crab pots and more than 600 feet of abandoned trawl cable.

The new gear retrieval project is among $7 million in coastal habitat restoration projects NOAA is funding in Oregon under the  American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Read more about NOAA’s stimulus act projects here.

Building a Resilient Coast: Maine Confronts Climate Change

Building a Resilient Coast: Maine Confronts Climate Change

“The ocean is coming up, higher than it ever has. The climate is changing. The ocean water is warm, a lot warmer,” warns Timothy Pellerin, Emergency Management Agency, Lincoln County, Maine. Building a Resilient Coast addresses the concerns and interests of coastal Maine residents. The hour-long documentary highlights key climate change issues including public perception and the need to protect both private and public property from millions of dollars of future storm damage. The one-hour program was produced by Oregon Sea Grant as part of a NOAA-funded project with Maine Sea Grant.

Twelve short excerpts from the documentary can be found on the Sea Grant Web site.

They present “take home” messages and insights. The documentary focuses on coastal residents who are “being the change” that the circumstances warrant. For example, homeowner Dee Brown built her shoreline house on piers to withstand a rising sea and what she rightly calls, “terrible storms.”