(L-R) Ruth Clarke and Chris Gourley announce launch of Marine Litter Grants 2023
The civic-pride campaign, Live Here Love Here, has announced the return of the highly successful Marine Litter Grant, an initiative funded by the Waste Prevention Branch of the Department of Agriculture, Environment, and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
The initiative will support ideas that prevent litter from entering Northern Ireland’s waterways, including oceans, coastlines, rivers and lakes.
The scheme aims to protect our blue spaces, improve marine biodiversity, and support the health of our communities with aquatic spaces a key contributor to wellbeing. Community groups, organisations and businesses based anywhere in Northern Ireland can apply for a share of the £200,000 fund available this year.
Ruth Clarke, Waste Prevention Policy Branch DAERA said:
“We are proud to support the Marine Litter Capital Grants Scheme for the third year, and look forward to seeing the varied and innovative projects come to life as a result of this funding.”
According to the European Environment Agency, 80 per cent of marine litter originates from land-based activities with 85 per cent of this content plastic that permeates for up to 500 years. Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s most recent Marine Litter Report, published in 2022, shows that an average of 762 items of litter were found per 100 metres of beach surveyed, double the 375 items recorded the previous year.
Chris Gourley, Waste and Pollution Solutions Strategic Lead at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, said:
“We are committed to the ongoing and complex battle against marine pollution and delighted to deliver this grant scheme once again with support from DAERA. In the last three years we have identified a diverse array of projects that tackle the problem of marine pollution from both land and sea.
"These projects span a wide spectrum of creative solutions and approaches, but all share the common goal of safeguarding our aquatic spaces, proving that together, we can make a real difference to pollution levels, but also leave a legacy of environmental stewardship for generations to come.”
The Marine Litter Grants Scheme has already made a significant impact on marine conservation efforts across Northern Ireland with funding provided for over 50 innovative projects with a combined value of £550,000.
Eligible projects include ideas that could minimise waste generated by events such as disposable items which can enter our waterways. Another route is to submit an idea that reduces the impact of shipping and vessel operations such as discarded fishing gear, cargo packaging, and other materials that can contribute to marine pollution. Also considered are ideas that can prevent or reduce urban and rural litter, such as rubbish and debris found in streets and parks, which is often carried by wind into rivers and oceans.
Applications for the Marine Litter Grant are open until November 9th.
To learn more about the application process, eligibility criteria, and for more information on Live Here Love Here visit www.liveherelovehere.org