Habitat Heroes, Some of Our Partners in Habitat Conservation
Everything we do related to habitat conservation requires strong partnerships, and they are incredibly important to us.
We protect and restore habitat to sustain fisheries, recover protected species, and maintain resilient coastal ecosystems and communities.
Our goals are to:
Conserve habitat for managed fisheries and protected resources.
Restore fisheries and protected resources impacted by oil and chemical spills.
Increase the resilience of coastal ecosystems, communities, and economies through habitat conservation.
For us, conservation means protection and restoration. We protect healthy habitat by prioritizing our work to address the biggest threats. We restore degraded or injured habitat to ensure fish have access to high quality areas to live. We achieve this by:
Removing dams and other barriers.
Reconnecting coastal wetlands.
Rebuilding coral and oyster reefs.
Our approach to habitat conservation is collaborative and uses sound science in support of our major mandates like the Magnuson-Stevens Act, Endangered Species Act, and the Oil Pollution Act. We focus our efforts for the benefit of marine resources and coastal communities. And, we work in partnerships at all levels—with local, state, federal governments, private entities, and non-governmental organizations—toward shared goals and enhanced understanding.
Healthy habitats support fish, clean water, and recreation. They are declining due to stressors like pollution, development, and extreme weather. We strive to address these issues through our programs and activities which directly support the nation’s communities and economy. Our major focus areas include:
We work to increase fisheries productivity by restoring coastal habitat and supporting the recovery of protected species that rely on healthy habitat to breed, eat, rest, and grow. Since 1992, we have provided more than $750 million to implement more 3,300 coastal habitat restoration projects.
Fish habitat is vulnerable to pollution and other threats, but some problems can be minimized or avoided by protecting habitats first. We work to increase fisheries productivity through supporting Essential Fish Habitat, fish passage, and deep sea coral research.
The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office focuses its science, service, and stewardship capabilities on improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay and ensuring its sustainable use for generations to come.
Carrie Selberg Robinson is the Director of the Office of Habitat Conservation. She served as Deputy Director from 2015-2020. She was NOAA Fisheries Chief of Staff from 2013-2015. She joined NOAA in 2005 as a legislative specialist after 5 years at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. She participated in NOAA’s Leadership Development Competencies Program and the National Conservation Leadership Institute. She has a degree in Environmental Studies from Connecticut College and a Masters in Environmental Management from Duke University.
Jeff Smith is serving as the Acting Deputy Director while participating in NOAA's Leadership Competencies Development Program. Jeff has served the Office of Habitat Conservation in multiple capacities since 2005. Most recently, Jeff served as the program manager for NOAA's restoration efforts following oil spills and hazardous waste releases. He has previously advanced national habitat conservation efforts around fish passage, coastal and offshore energy development, and federal investments in water resources.