$ 30,000 BankNewport Grant Advances RIMTA Foundation’s Fiberglass Ship Recycling Pilot Project
BankNewport and its OceanPoint Marine Lending division are pleased to announce that a $ 30,000 grant it made to the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association Foundation (RIMTA Foundation) played a key role in advancing the pilot project of recycling of Rhode Island fiberglass ships. The project addresses the significant environmental challenge posed by the ever-expanding fleet of end-of-life fiberglass boats in the United States and its potential to inflict economic strains on manufacturers, dealers, marinas / shipyards, owners to individual ships and to state governments.
The BankNewport grant provided the necessary financial support for the RIMTA Foundation to seek and secure federal funding with the support of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation, which led to the expansion of the pilot program to Connecticut, Massachusetts, in Maine and the Pacific Northwest. The RIMTA Foundation is now positioned as a leading voice in the global discourse on the responsible management of the life cycle of end-of-life fiberglass boats.
“As a leading lender in the marine industry, we are keenly aware of the incredible benefits of boating as well as its potential negative impact on the environment, especially when boats are taken out of service,” said said Larry Reagan, senior vice president, director of Marine and Recreational Lending at OceanPoint Marine Lending. “The work that the RIMTA Foundation has done to mitigate this impact through its recycling program is simply exceptional and we are proud to support their efforts.
The work of the RIMTA Foundation has led to the development of a method of using fiberglass boat materials for the production of cement, and over the past two years the program has recycled over sixty tons of materials into fiberglass using the new process, successfully diverting old boats from endlessly burying in landfills or being scuttled and polluting the oceans.
“We continue to answer critical questions regarding the life cycle of pleasure craft and the sustainable reuse of fiberglass waste,” said Evan Ridley, director of environmental programs, RI Marine Trades Association. Boats built with composite materials present an incredible opportunity for our Ocean State to establish a new path for the collection and recycling of high value scrap metal derived from thousands of other composite products currently in landfill. These efforts go beyond the sustainability of boating in Rhode Island, and would not be possible without the guidance and support of our local partners like BankNewport. “