Today, NOAA is announcing $8 million in recommended funding for eleven projects under the 2016 Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Program. The program is part of NOAA’s comprehensive approach to building coastal resiliency.
These on-the-ground restoration projects will not only enhance ecosystem resiliency to the impacts of extreme weather and changing environmental conditions, but will also provide habitat to support sustainable fisheries and contribute to the recovery of protected species.
Recommended funding will provide support to projects in:
- The Town of Yarmouth will replace a degraded and undersized bridge on a primary transportation corridor on Cape Cod. Currently, storm surges exacerbate flood damage for property owners. Removing the bridge will reduce flood damage and improve fish passage and water quality. ($663,044)
- The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, Division of Ecological Restoration will remove the Carver Cotton Gin Dam in East Bridgewater, which is a safety hazard and prevents fish passage on the Satucket River. This will open up approximately 13 miles of riverine corridor and access to 652 acres of migratory fish spawning habitat to benefit river herring and American eel, while improving stability of an upstream bridge. ($212,871)
- The Town of Scituate will remove Hunters Pond Dam, opening up approximately five miles of riverine corridor and nearly 200 acres of rearing and spawning habitat on Bound Brook. This will benefit migratory fish including river herring, American eel, and rainbow smelt, which have undergone a dramatic decline in Massachusetts over the last 400 years. Removing the dam will eliminate the potential for dam failure that would cause flooding and close a road. ($192,566)
- American Rivers will remove the Bloede Dam from the Patapsco River. This is the linchpin of a larger effort to remove four dams on the river, restoring more than 65 miles of spawning habitat for blueback herring, alewife, American shad, hickory shad, and removing a safety hazard. ($1,000,000)
- The University of Miami will to restore healthy staghorn coral thickets on nearshore reefs, increasing the resilience of coral reefs as fish habitat in a changing climate. The project will outplant 10,000 staghorn colonies, and 250 colonies each of elkhorn and other coral across Miami Beach and Key Biscayne. ($521,920)
- The Confederated tribes and bands of the Yakama Nation will restore floodplain connectivity in approximately three miles of tributary stream habitat in the Teanaway Community Forest Trust. The project will place locally-harvested woody material within the stream to improve flow, reduce peak temperatures, and enhance the complexity of habitats within the stream for fish including Columbia steelhead, coho and chinook salmon. ($250,000)
- The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe will restore the tidal connection between Kilisut Harbor and Oak Bay by replacing a causeway with a bridge. This will restore 27 acres of tidal marsh along the re-opened tidal channel, opening passage for young Hood Canal summer chum and Puget Sound Chinook as they leave the Olympic peninsula. Residents of Marrowstone Island will be more resilient to storms and sea level rise, as the road to the island, and the utility lines buried in the road, are raised out of the 100-year flood zone. ($1,000,000)
- Ducks Unlimited will restore 710 acres of former salt evaporation ponds in south San Francisco Bay to marsh and upland habitat. This is part of a larger effort to restore wetland and channel habitats, increase habitat connectivity, and improve protection to Bay communities in the face of extreme weather and changing environmental conditions. ($1,500,000)
- The Redwood Community Action Agency will restore approximately seven acres of riparian and tidal wetland habitats, improve overwintering and rearing habitat for federally-listed salmonids, and reduce flooding on agricultural land and a community golf course in Eureka, CA. ($1,091,045)
- The Coral Reef Alliance will use 2,000 plants and nature-based stormwater management features to slow and filter polluted stormwater in West Maui. These actions will reduce the flow of water and levels of nutrients and sediment reaching the nearshore coral reefs and increase their resilience to climate changes. ($847,440)
- The Nature Conservancy will restore coastal habitat in the Heʻeia watershed and Kāneʻohe Bay, O‘ahu, Hawaiʻi, through invasive species removal, native species replanting, and traditional management practices. This will improve and restore 13.8 acres of wetlands and 0.5 miles of stream corridor, strengthening ecological and community resilience to extreme weather events and support sustainable fisheries. ($721,095)
At this point in the selection process, the application approval and obligation of funds is not final and funding levels may be modified. Each of these applications is being “recommended.”
Resilience is the ability of an ecosystem or community to absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events such as extreme weather or long-term changing environmental conditions, such as sea level rise. The primary focus of this grants program was the development of healthy and sustainable coastal ecosystems through on-the-ground habitat restoration actions.