The civic-pride campaign, Live Here Love Here has issued a final call to apply for its 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 supports 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 almost £200,000 fund until November 9th 2023.
Marine Litter Grant
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.”
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s most recent Marine Litter Report shows that the average number of litter items present per 100 metres of beach surveyed last year was 542, down from a record-breaking 752 in the previous year. However, 2022 was still the fourth worst year for marine litter since recording back in 2012, and plastic pollution reached an all-time high of 90 per cent of all litter recorded at surveyed beaches.
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 ways to minimise waste generated by events such as disposable items which can enter our waterways, shipping, and vessel operations such as discarded fishing gear, cargo packaging, and other materials that can contribute to marine litter and urban and rural litter such as rubbish and debris found in streets and parks that can be carried by wind or runoff 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 https://liveherelovehere.etinu.net/cgi-bin/generic?instanceID=46.