Connecticut Port Adopts Program to Recycle and Recover Energy from Old Fishing Gear in Stonington
Stonington, CT – May 31, 2018 – The Connecticut port of Stonington marks a significant move towards keeping its waterways clean by participating in the Fishing for Energy partnership, a program that provides commercial fishermen a cost-free way to recycle old and unusable fishing gear. Stonington is the first port in the state cooperating in the program. All gear collected at the port will be stripped of metals for recycling with the help of Schnitzer Steel and processed into clean energy at the Covanta SECONN Energy-from-Waste Facility located in Preston, CT.
Fishing for Energy is a national partnership between Covanta, a world leader in sustainable waste and energy solutions, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, and Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. It was established in 2008 to reduce the financial burden imposed on commercial fishermen when disposing of old, derelict (gear that is lost in the marine environment), or unusable fishing gear and thereby reduce the amount of gear in U.S. coastal waters. Since its launch, Fishing for Energy has hauled in more than 3 million pounds of old fishing gear, a portion of which has been retrieved directly from the ocean by fishermen.
“I’m pleased to welcome the Fishing for Energy program to the State of Connecticut,” said State Senator Heather Somers (R-Groton). “This collaborative and innovative program helps turn a potential environmental hazard and burden on local fishermen into an opportunity to recycle and generate clean energy for our communities. I will continue to not only help to keep our ocean clean but also fight to ensure that our last commercial fishing fleet in Connecticut continues.”
By placing the collection bin at the port, it makes it easy for fishermen to participate. Abandoned or lost fishing equipment can threaten marine life in a number of ways; by damaging ecosystems as nets and heavy equipment settle upon the ocean floor or through ‘ghost fishing,’ wherein a net continues to catch fish, even if lost. Gear can also impact navigational safety, damage fishing equipment and boats that are in use, and have economic repercussions on fishing and shipping enterprises and coastal communities.
“After many years of success at ports in New England and up and down northeast, we are delighted to be adding our first port in Connecticut,” said Paul Gilman, Covanta’s chief sustainability officer. “The collection bin will provide a convenient way to discard old gear and marine debris, helping to reduce costs for fishermen and protect the environment that is so important to their livelihoods. As an important added benefit, the collected material will also be recycled and processed into clean, renewable energy instead of sending it to a landfill."
Fishing for Energy thrives due to extensive cooperation between government, private, public and local organizations. The diversity and unparalleled expertise of the partners results in a unique, community-focused program that addresses a marine environmental issue, reduces costs for small commercial fishing businesses and recycles metal and recovers energy from the remaining material.
The partnership has also expanded to include a grant program that directly supports efforts to remove derelict fishing gear from U.S. coastal waters and will continue to partner with new ports to promote retired or derelict fishing gear collection through community education and outreach. For more information on the partnership visit: www.nfwf.org/fishingforenergy.
Covanta, (NYSE: CVA), is a world leader in providing sustainable waste and energy solutions. Annually, Covanta’s modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste from municipalities and businesses into clean, renewable electricity to power one million homes and recycle approximately 550,000 tons of metal. Through a vast network of treatment and recycling facilities, Covanta also provides comprehensive industrial material management services to companies seeking solutions to some of today’s most complex environmental challenges. For more information, visit covanta.com.
About National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) works with the public and private sectors to sustain, restore and enhance the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats for current and future generations. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF has grown to become the nation’s largest private conservation grant-maker, supporting more than 16,500 projects and generating a total conservation impact of more than $4.8 billion. The Foundation matches private dollars with public funds and uses science-based conservation and competitive grant programs to direct those resources to projects that produce the greatest measurable results for wildlife. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, housed within the Office of Response & Restoration, is the federal lead on efforts to research, prevent, and reduce the impacts of marine debris. The NOAA Marine Debris Program achieves its mission through five main pillars: Removal, Prevention, Research, Regional Coordination, and Emergency Response. Staff is positioned across the country in order to support projects and partnerships with state and local agencies, tribes, non-governmental organizations, academia, and industry. NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) develops scientific solutions to keep the coasts clean from threats of oil, chemicals, and marine debris. For more information, visit: www.noaa.gov.
About Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
Since our founding in 1906 Schnitzer has grown into a global leader in metals recycling through a combination of organic investments and acquisitions which provide state-of-the-art processing, manufacturing and information technologies. Today, Schnitzer operates 95 recycling facilities, including seven deep water ports – on both U.S. coasts and in Hawaii and Puerto Rico – which enable efficient delivery of processed scrap metals to steel mills and foundries around the world. A fundamental driver of our business is the global demand for recycled metal which has been increasing due to advances in processing technologies and significant environmental benefits. We collect scrap metal in North America, processing it for reuse and selling it to steel mills and foundries globally. From emerging to developed markets, our unique and flexible platform supports the world's economic growth.