Fishing for Energy, a partnership between Covanta, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and Schnitzer Steel Industries, provides commercial fishermen with a way to dispose of unusable fishing gear at no charge. The partnership has invested more than $2.5 million to address the issue of derelict fishing gear across the United States, to remove debris in 10 states, and to generate enough electricity to power more than 2,500 homes for one month. Here’s a look at the progress being made in just three states.

  • New Jersey: Fishing for Energy and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) of New Jersey have recycled approximately 26,000 pounds of derelict crab pots and other marine debris. Covanta Union in Rahway, New Jersey processes the gear from nearby New Jersey ports. During 2016, the facility accepted and processed approximately 8,800 pounds of gear from the project.
  • Oregon: During 2016, more than 3,000 pounds of old fishing gear, such as traps, and other marine debris was removed from Florida’s waterways and coastlines, recycled and converted into energy at the Pinellas County Resource Recovery Facility (Covanta Pinellas). “We are proud to partner with Covanta to properly dispose of the derelict traps providing both conservation and socioeconomic benefits to the community,” said Devin Sanderson, founder and president of ReelCycle, a Florida-based non-profit that develops sustainable recycling programs for fishing gear.
  • Washington: In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and the Quinault Indian Nation, Fishing for Energy has removed more than 1,000 abandoned crab pots from the Washington Coast through the port community of Westport. Since 2009, Covanta Marion has helped remove and process 240 tons of fishing gear and marine debris from the Pacific Northwest Coast and has played an integral role in preventing abandoned fishing gear from harming wildlife.

Learn more about turning marine debris into energy in this short video, featuring Meg Morris, Vice President of Material Management and Community Affairs at Covanta.