As a founding partner in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Nets to Energy Program, ISRI member Schnitzer Steel Hawaii Corp., connected with U.S. Senator Brian Schatz last week during a marine clean-up initiative.
Thanks to a multi-agency state and federal effort in partnership with industry, Schnitzer helped haul off 12 shipping containers filled with derelict fishing gear, old nets, faded plastics, and lots of other junk that piled up onto the reefs and beaches of Kure and Midway atolls over the past six years.
Mark Manuel, NOAA Marine Debris Program Pacific Islands regional coordinator, said the Northwestern islands are particularly vulnerable to floating marine junk because of the location near the convergence of a large series of ocean currents that move clockwise and carry rubbish from across the Pacific. This year, the haul of marine litter will be processed by Schnitzer Steel Corp. and transported to the Honolulu city and county’s H-POWER plant, where it will be converted into electricity. Over the past 20 years, NOAA staff members and partners have removed more than 1.9 million pounds from the Northwestern islands.