Marine Debris Cleanup To Begin On Cuttyhunk Island

Lt. Col. Patrick Moran, of the MA Environmental Police, stands in front of a pile of lobster traps on Cuttyhunk’s shoreline in October of 2021.” Photo courtesy of the Center for Coastal Studies.

GOSNOLD – The Center for Coastal Studies Marine Debris & Plastics Program was recently awarded $55,206 to aid in the removal of lost fishing gear from the shores of Cuttyhunk Island.

One of eleven projects to receive Southeast New England Program Watershed Implementation Grants in 2022, the project will be the first large scale fishing gear debris removal effort on the island, on which large amounts of storm-driven debris has accumulated over the years.

The center was approached by island residents seeking assistance in what would become a broad collaboration including commercial fisherman, the Cuttyhunk STEAM Academy, Cornell University students, the Massachusetts Environment Police, members of the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Mass Audubon, and regional artists.

Fieldwork commences this week, beginning with an aerial survey conducted by drones to map debris areas and access points.

The following week, CCS staff and regional volunteers will remove lobster traps, rope, and other debris and gather it to be documented, sorted, and shipped away to be disposed of or recycled.

Additionally, some debris will be set aside for an art exhibition.

Funding for SNEP Watershed Implementation Grants comes from the EPA through a collaboration with Restore America’s Estuaries.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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