The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association Foundation is the beneficiary of a $30,000 grant to continue its fiberglass boat recycling pilot project. The grant was announced by BankNewport’s OceanPoint Marine Lending Division.
“As a leading lender in the marine industry, we are acutely aware of the incredible benefits of boating, as well as the potential negative impact it has on the environment, especially as boats are decommissioned,” said Larry Reagan, OceanPoint senior vice president and director of marine and recreational lending. “The work that the RIMTA Foundation has done to mitigate that impact through its recycling program is nothing short of outstanding.”
Phase 1 of RIMTA’s project, which ended in 2019, was deemed a success, with more than 60 tons of vessels collected and recycled. The recycled materials were used as filler in the manufacturing of concrete and as an energy source, which led to Phase 2 of the project last year.
The grant from BankNewport has helped RIMTA’s pilot program attract national attention. Last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program awarded RIMTA a grant of more than $105,000 to expand the program throughout New England and beyond.
“We are continuing to answer critical questions surrounding the life cycle of recreational boats and the sustainable reuse of fiberglass waste,” said RIMTA director of environmental programs Evan Ridley. “Boats constructed with composite materials offer an incredible opportunity for our Ocean State to establish a new pathway for the collection and recycling of high-value scrap derived from thousands of other composite-based products currently being landfilled.”