What We Do

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 by removing dams and other barriers, reconnecting coastal wetlands, and rebuilding coral and oyster reefs to ensure fish have access to high quality areas to live. 

Our approach to habitat conservation is collaborative and uses sound science in support of our major mandates like the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 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 levelswith local, state, federal governments, private entities, and non-governmental organizationstoward shared goals and enhanced understanding.

Healthy habitats support fish, clean water, and recreation, but 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:


Restoring Habitat

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.

Learn more about how we restore coastal habitats


Protecting Habitat

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.

Learn more about how we protect coastal habitat


Improving the Chesapeake Bay

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.

Learn more about our efforts in the Chesapeake Bay

Our Leadership

Management Team


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.