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2022 in Review: Our Top Habitat Conservation Stories

January 12, 2023

Take a look back at some of 2022’s most popular stories about protecting and restoring habitat.

Construction equipment in a wetland Tidal wetland restoration in California. Credit: NOAA Fisheries.

NOAA’s Office of Habitat Conservation made significant progress conserving, protecting, and restoring habitat in 2022. Join us as we look back at some of the year’s most popular stories about our work and the importance of habitat for fisheries and communities.

Habitat Restoration Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents an unprecedented opportunity for NOAA to make an impact for fisheries, endangered species, and coastal communities. One of this year’s most-read stories highlighted funding for fish passage under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law:

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An isolated living white glass sponge on the seafloor
This living glass sponge was spotted during a 2018 cruise. This photo reveals the bright colors and textures commonly associated with the living sponge, which is usually found in small patches. Credit: NOAA Fisheries, Marine Applied Research and Exploration.

Exciting Discoveries About Deep-Sea Sponges

Hundreds—even thousands—of feet beyond the reach of sunlight, the deep sea is the largest, yet least known, environment on Earth. Ongoing exploration and research continues to reveal incredible new information about the creatures that live in these habitats. Two of our most popular stories of 2022 highlighted discoveries about deep-sea sponges:

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A closeup of hands wearing blue gloves holding a cluster of oysters
Scientists monitor a reef with healthy oysters as part of a restoration effort. Credit: Oyster Recovery Partnership.

Celebrating Habitat Throughout the Year

Our annual Habitat Month celebration focused on the role of healthy habitat in building resilience. We highlighted stories about how restoring habitat for our nation’s fisheries and protected resources can also help coastal communities recover from and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Beyond Habitat Month, we continued sharing stories about the benefits of healthy habitats—like rivers and oyster reefs—through other habitat-related celebrations:

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Aerial view of river with wetlands interspersed with residences and forested areas on both sides
The Mattaponi River snakes through King and Queen County, Virginia, part of NOAA's Middle Peninsula Habitat Focus Area. Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program.

A Focus on Habitat in Virginia’s Middle Peninsula

In 2022, we announced the Middle Peninsula in Virginia as NOAA’s newest Habitat Focus Area. We’re working with partners in the area at the federal, state, local and tribal levels. NOAA will work to conserve fish habitat and build the region’s ability to bounce back in the face of climate change.

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Construction equipment in a marsh
An excavator constructs a containment dike in one of the marsh creation areas of the Upper Barataria marsh creation project. Credit: Moffatt & Nichol.

More Top Habitat Stories from 2022

Other popular habitat stories from the past year span a diversity of topics—from living shorelines, to mitigating negative impacts on natural resources, to NOAA’s largest ever wetland restoration project:

Stay Connected!

We look forward to sharing more exciting news about our habitat conservation efforts in 2023. Stay up to date by subscribing to our monthly HabitatNews newsletter and following us on Twitter.