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Montauk, NY Adopts Program to Recycle and Recover Energy From Old Fishing Gear and Marine Debris

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Source: Marketwire

Long Island Port Is the Latest Addition to the Innovative Fishing for Energy Partnership

MONTAUK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 06/08/12 -- Today in honor of World Oceans Day, Fishing for Energy, the partnership that provides commercial fishermen a cost-free way to recycle old and unusable fishing gear, announced the participation of Montauk, NY in the program. Gear collected from local commercial fishermen will be hauled and stripped of metals for recycling with the help of Gershow Recycling and processed into clean, renewable energy at the Covanta Hempstead Energy-from-Waste facility.

Fishing for Energy is a partnership between Covanta Energy Corporation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, and Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. The partnership was established in 2008 to reduce the financial burden imposed on commercial fishermen when disposing of old, derelict (gear that is lost in the marine environment) or unusable fishing gear and thereby reduce the amount of gear that ends up in U.S. coastal waters.

At a ceremony held this morning at the Montauk Transfer Station, the partnership celebrated the addition of Montauk and established a bin for commercial fishermen to deposit old, abandoned or lost fishing gear from the area. Participants also used the opportunity to celebrate World Oceans Day, observed on June 8th of each year. World Oceans Day is a day to recognize the value of the world's oceans and collaborate on ways to promote ocean conservation.

Speaking on behalf of the partnership, Meg Morris, Covanta Energy Director of Environmental Science and Community Affairs, said, 'We are so pleased to be able to continue the expansion of the Fishing for Energy program by adding our sixth port on Long Island. This is a great opportunity for local fishermen to dispose of unused gear free of charge, thereby helping to protect the marine environment that is so important to their livelihoods. We are proud to take the gear free of charge at our Energy-from-Waste facilities and create clean, renewable energy instead of it ending up in landfills or the ocean.'

By placing the collection bin at the Montauk Transfer Station, it makes it easy for fishermen to participate, regardless of where they dock their boats. The program significantly increases the likelihood that derelict gear does not end up in the marine environment. Abandoned or lost fishing equipment can threaten marine life in a number of ways; by damaging ecosystems as nets and heavy equipment settle upon the ocean floor or through 'ghost fishing,' wherein a net continues to catch fish, even if abandoned or lost. Gear can also impact navigational safety, damage fishing equipment and boats that are in use, and have economic repercussions on fishing and shipping enterprises and coastal communities.

Deborah Klughers, an East Hampton Town Trustee and environmental advocate added, 'I've wanted to bring this program to Montauk since I heard about it a few years ago. There are piles of unwanted fishing gear around Montauk and East Hampton, and having a cost effective way to dispose if it will help the local fishing community while beautifying the Town. This partnership will not only allow fishers to dispose of gear they don't want, but they can also bring in derelict gear they find while at sea and dispose of that as well. Recycling benefits us all. Fishing for Energy is a great way to help the environment by recycling unwanted fishing gear into energy and teach the community alternative ways to recycle.'

Fishing for Energy thrives due to extensive cooperation between government, private, public and local organizations. The diversity and unparalleled expertise of the partners results in a unique community-focused program that addresses a major marine environmental issue, reduces costs for small commercial fishing businesses, recycles metal, and recovers energy from the remaining material.

Since launching in 2008, Fishing for Energy has reeled in more than 1.5 million pounds of old fishing gear, a portion of which has been retrieved directly from the ocean by fishermen. In 2010, Fishing for Energy was awarded the prestigious Coastal America Partnership Award, which is presented to groups that restore and protect coastal ecosystems through collaborative action and partnership. The partnership has expanded to include a grant program that directly supports efforts to remove derelict fishing gear from U.S. coastal waters and will continue to partner with new ports to promote retired or derelict fishing gear collection through community education and outreach. For more information on the partnership visit: www.nfwf.org/fishingforenergy.

For more information on World Oceans Day, including a comprehensive list of events locally and globally, visit http://worldoceansday.org/.

About Covanta
Covanta Energy Corporation is an internationally recognized owner and operator of large-scale Energy-from-Waste and renewable energy projects. Covanta's 45 Energy-from-Waste facilities provide communities with an environmentally sound solution to their solid waste disposal needs by using that municipal solid waste to generate clean, renewable energy. Annually, Covanta's modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely and securely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste into 9 million megawatt hours of clean, renewable electricity and create more than 9 billion pounds of steam sold to a variety of industries. For more information, visit www.covantaenergy.com.

About National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
A nonprofit established by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation sustains, restores and enhances the Nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Through leadership conservation investments with public and private partners, NFWF is dedicated to achieving maximum conservation impact by developing and applying best practices and innovative methods for measurable outcomes. Since its establishment, NFWF has awarded nearly 9,500 grants to over 3,000 organizations in the United States and abroad and leveraged -- with its partners -- more than $400 million in federal funds into more than $1.3 billion for on-the-ground conservation. For more information, visit www.nfwf.org.

About NOAA
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. The NOAA Marine Debris Program, housed within the Office of Response & Restoration, coordinates, strengthens, and increases the visibility of marine debris issues and efforts within the agency, its partners, and the public. The program supports activities at both a national and international level focused on identifying, reducing and preventing debris from entering the marine environment. NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) protects coastal and marine resources, mitigates threats, reduces harm, and restores ecological function. The Office provides comprehensive solutions to environmental hazards caused by oil, chemicals, and marine debris. For more information, visit: www.noaa.gov.

About Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of recycled ferrous metal products in the United States with 56 operating facilities located in 14 states, Puerto Rico and Western Canada. The business 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 its auto parts and steel manufacturing businesses. The Company's auto parts business sells used auto parts through its 50 self-service facilities located in 14 states and Western Canada. With an effective annual production capacity of approximately 800,000 tons, the Company's steel manufacturing business produces finished steel products, including rebar, wire rod and other specialty products. The Company commenced its 106th year of operations in fiscal 2012. Schnitzer was named Scrap Company of the Year by American Metals Market's 2011 Awards for Steel Excellence. This award recognizes advancements rooted in pioneering and implementing business improvements that have delivered real change to the steel industry.

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