POSTED: 12:42 p.m. HST, May 10, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 09:40 p.m. HST, May 10, 2012
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking grant proposals for projects that would seek to reduce the amount of ocean debris by shrinking the amount of trash on land that could make its way out to sea.
The agency is taking aim at garbage on land because it's the source of up to 80 percent of the debris in the ocean.
Plastic trash in particular is harmful because it breaks down into smaller pieces but never completely disappears in the environment. Birds, fish and other wildlife mistake the plastic bits for food and eat them.
The EPA said Wednesday it has $280,000 for one to three grants.
Government agencies and nonprofit organizations in Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands as well as coastal areas of California are eligible to apply.