NOAA-Marine Debris Prevention through Education and Outreach 2015

Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JC NERR)/ Rutgers University was awarded a $57,853.00 grant titled: The WeCrab Project through the NOAA Marine Debris Program through its Marine Debris Prevention through Education and Outreach grant competition.  This grant will continue to build upon previous grants Stockton University and Rutgers have received over the last four years focused on derelict crab pots or “ghost pots”.

The WeCrab Marine Debris Project (MDP) will use Community-Based Social Marketing to encourage changes in behavior to prevent derelict fishing gear and other debris (land and sea based) from ending up in our marine and coastal waters. The WeCrab MDP consists of three main objectives: Prevention, Education and Active Participation in small scale removal.  Healthy and sustainable marine and coastal ecosystems are in large part the result of each of its users.  When the users of these resources change their behaviors and develop stewardship habits, our coastal and marine communities and environments become healthier and more sustainable. By targeting a wide range of audiences including recreational crabbers, teachers and students, and shore and bay users, we will be involving not just individuals but the community in protection of its local resources.  Reducing threats to coastal resources through marine debris education and outreach will benefit several tiers of NOAA trust resources such as critical and essential fish habitat, coastal habitats and the overall health of our coastal and marine waters. 

As part of this grant there will be a series of teacher professional development workshops and workshops for recreational crabbers to learn about the project and how to prevent lost pots by rigging commercial style pots correctly.  To learn more about these opportunities contact Melanie Reding, Education Coordinator JC NERR at 609-812-0649 x 206 or reding@marine.rutgers.eduype your paragraph here.