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11th Hour Racing awards 12 new grants to address environmental challenges of coastal communities

by 11th Hour Racing Team 16 Dec 2020 05:09 PST
Ocean Conservancy's Global Ghost Gear Initiative®. © Matthew Gilbert | Ocean Conservancy

Driven by its mission to inspire solutions for the ocean, 11th Hour Racing have announced 12 new grants to address plastics pollution, coastal restoration, food waste, and water quality.

11th Hour Racing awarded $781,500 in grants, funded by The Schmidt Family Foundation, to projects in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the U.S., bringing the total of 2020 grants to $2.2 million. The grants were awarded to the following organizations:

  • Billion Oyster Project (NY, U.S.) will expand its oyster hatchery operations and, with partners, begin restoring 8-acres of oyster reef habitat throughout NYC, while engaging students in STEM education on oyster monitoring and water quality testing.

  • Clean Ocean Access (RI, U.S.) will collect and recycle 100,000 pounds of LDPE (low-density polyethylene) plastic film from the marine, construction, and agriculture sectors in Southern New England to support the further development of a domestic recycling framework for this hard-to-recycle material.

  • Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation (RI, U.S.) will pilot the use of underwater video technology to map ghost gear hot spots in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay and support greater training on ghost gear prevention in collaboration with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative®.

  • Groundwork Rhode Island (RI, U.S.) will develop and implement a series of compost application workshops for farmers, gardeners, and urban residents throughout Rhode Island to identify end-users for their compost, and provide education and training on alternatives to chemical fertilizers.

  • Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (TX, U.S.) will analyze data from over 5,400 coastal surveys to better understand the source and distribution of plastic pellet (nurdle) pollution.

  • National Aquarium (MD, U.S.) will conduct research to investigate and measure the effectiveness of floating wetlands in urban harbors as a nature-based solution to water pollution.

  • Ocean Conservancy (DC, U.S.) and its Global Ghost Gear Initiative® will conduct ghost gear removal, prevention, and recycling initiatives with fishers in the Gulf of Maine and Narragansett Bay.

  • Rare (DC, U.S.) will hold the sixth edition of the Solution Search contest that spotlights solutions that reduce water pollution by changing behaviors.

  • Save The Bay (RI, U.S.) will restore coastal habitats, provide remote experiential education for all Rhode Island students, and re-launch Save The Bay's 'Bay-Friendly Living' Guide.

  • Seacology (DR) will partner with the Sosúa Fishermen's Association and Fundación Ecológical Maguá to plant up to 1,200 mangrove seedlings in a 5-acre degraded area in the Dominican Republic.

  • The Ocean Foundation (PR) will serve as the lead technical consultant in developing the restoration plan for up to 47-acres of mangroves and 1-acre of seagrass in Vieques, PR.

  • The Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust (PR) will partner with The Ocean Foundation to restore over 47-acres of mangroves and seagrass contributing to the overall protection of Vieques' Bioluminescent Bay Natural Reserve.
"While 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year, the need for local, sustainable solutions to environmental issues that can be replicated in other coastal communities or other industries broadly is more important than ever," said Michelle Carnevale, 11th Hour Racing's grant program director. "We look forward to working closely with this new cohort of grantees as we discover and inspire new solutions to restore the health of our ocean."

11th Hour Racing's next grant deadline is January 31, 2021.

11th Hour Racing mobilizes sailing, maritime and coastal communities to promote collaborative, systemic change benefitting the health of our ocean - one degree at a time. For more information, visit

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