While we primarily strive to conserve habitat to boost fish populations and recover threatened and endangered species, the Division also participates in a variety of programs to enhance, restore, and create fishery habitats across the southeastern United States. Restored coastal habitats provide clean water, support fish and wildlife, and protect coastal communities from storms. They also support boating, fishing, and tourism. Habitat restoration helps people, too. Restoration creates jobs—an average of 15 jobs per $1 million invested.
Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA)
The NOAA Fisheries has been a leader in Louisiana coastal restoration since the late 1990s. CWPPRA is a partnership among the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the State of Louisiana. Enacted in 1990, the annual budget for CWPPRA funded restoration has ranged from about $30 million per year to nearly $80 million.
Habitat Conservation Division staff acquire and analyze field data to prepare conceptual design, cost, and benefit analyses to compete for authorization of engineering and design funds. When NOAA Fisheries sponsored projects are authorized for construction, the Division monitors construction and also conducts annual operations and maintenance inspections.
Since its inception, 210 coastal restoration or protection projects have been authorized, benefiting over approximately 100,000 acres in Louisiana.