Innovative marine conservation partnership celebrated at Port of Garibaldi, Oregon
Garibaldi, OR (July 30, 2019) — Since its inception in 2008, a conservation partnership
between the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the NOAA Marine Debris
Program, Covanta and Schnitzer Steel Industries called “Fishing For Energy” has collected,
recycled and converted to energy more than 4 million pounds of derelict fishing gear with the
potential to pose dangers to marine wildlife and boaters along the U.S. coastline.
Over the past decade, the Fishing for Energy partnership has worked directly with 55 fishing
communities in 12 states by offering no-cost solutions to recycle and recover energy from
derelict and retired gear. Through the installation of collection bins at strategic ports, local
communities have been able to responsibly dispose of fishing traps, lines and nets that are no
longer in use, thus preventing them from entering U.S. waterways and coastlines.
The Port of Garibaldi, Oregon, was identified as a model program that made an impact in
keeping our oceans cleaner and protecting marine life. Since installing a collection bin in 2009,
over 240,000 pounds of obsolete fishing gear has been collected, recycled, or processed as sustainable energy. Garibaldi is one of Fishing for Energy’s longest standing and successful partnerships. This success, along with the 10-year anniversary of the partnership, will be celebrated on July 30 at the
Garibaldi Pier, and on July 31 at Covanta’s Marion County Energy-from-Waste facility in
“Derelict nets, pots and other fishing gear often continue to capture fish and marine wildlife after
they are lost, damaging critical populations and valuable natural resources,” said Jeff Trandahl,
executive director and CEO of NFWF. “In the 10 years since the Fishing for Energy partnership
was launched, our public- and private-sector partners have come together to institute innovative
and effective solutions to this so-called ‘ghost fishing’ problem.”
Fishing for Energy collection bins can be found on both the east and west coasts. The program’s
success would not be possible without support from community partners that help increase
awareness about the program through word-of-mouth, on-site signage, outreach through fishing
cooperatives or marine supply stores, and digitally through newsletters, newspapers and social
“Marine debris is a complex problem that requires creative solutions. Fishing for Energy is one
such solution that fishermen do at the local level. The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to
be part of this partnership, and to support its accomplishments,” said Nancy Wallace, Chief,
NOAA Marine Debris Program.
Local communities play a key role in Fishing for Energy’s success. The partnership has directly
engaged more than 1,000 fishermen in recycling and converting unwanted gear into energy.
“Fishermen and local community groups are essential to our success,” said Paul Gilman,
Covanta’s senior vice president and chief sustainability officer. “With their active participation,
we are able to recycle valuable metals and recover renewable energy from the remaining
material. Over the past ten years, we have been able to generate enough electricity from derelict
gear and marine debris to power over 44,000 homes for one year.”
“As a Portland company we are excited to be here at Garibaldi to celebrate our 10-year
anniversary as a corporate sponsor of Fishing for Energy. We are gratified that our services can
help to improve our natural environment” said Michael Kirschman, Schnitzer Steel’s Regional
“Together we have created a system that benefits wildlife, people, and local economies, and we have shown what can be done when public and private sectors work together to advance the science and practice of conservation,” said Katie Goldsmith, the NFWF representative at the event, “While Fishing for Energy is a national company, it feels like a hometown success story here [in Garibaldi].”
To learn more about this and other efforts under the Fishing for Energy program, please visit
Watch this video to learn more about the Fishing for Energy
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects
and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and
individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and generated a
conservation impact of more than $5.3 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
Covanta is a world leader in providing sustainable waste and energy solutions. Annually,
Covanta’s modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely convert approximately 21 million tons of
waste from municipalities and businesses into clean, renewable electricity to power one million
homes and recycle approximately 600,000 tons of metal. Through a vast network of treatment
and recycling facilities, Covanta also provides comprehensive industrial material management
services to companies seeking solutions to some of today’s most complex environmental
challenges. For more information, visit covanta.com.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the
depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and
The NOAA Marine Debris Program, within the Office of Response & Restoration, is the federal
lead on marine debris. For more information visit: www.marinedebris.noaa.gov.
About Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of recycled
metal products in North America with operating facilities located in 23 states, Puerto Rico and
Western Canada. Schnitzer has seven deep water export facilities located on both the East and
West Coasts and in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The Company's integrated operating platform also
includes auto parts stores with approximately 5 million annual retail visits. The Company's steel
manufacturing operations produce finished steel products, including rebar, wire rod and other
specialty products. The Company began operations in 1906 in Portland, Oregon.