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Hawaii to share nearly $1 million in marine debris cleanup funds

    Scientists expect heavier ocean debris from the 2011 Japan tsunami to wash ashore on Hawaii and the western coast of North America this winter. Above, a Japan refrigerator, suspected of being tsunami debris carried around by currents, washed ashore on the southeast coast of Hawaii Island.

Hawaii is one of nine states and territories sharing nearly $1 million in grants for marine debris cleanup projects in U.S. coastal regions.

NOAA said in a release that the funding will be used to remove derelict vessels, trash, tires and other debris from coastal waters and shorelines. NOAA said the projects were chosen from among 46 applications requesting a total of nearly $5 million in funding.

Cleanup projects sharing in the $967,000 in approved funding are in Alabama, Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, New York, North Carolina, Washington state and Puerto Rico.

The money for Hawaii will be used by the Hawaii Wildlife Fund to continue its work to remove marine debris from the Big Island, focusing on the Kau coast. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will also use the funds to remove debris from Kahoolawe.

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