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Celebrating Habitat Month: Growing Habitat Together

July 03, 2023

Join us in celebrating Habitat Month 2023! Learn more about how NOAA Fisheries' Office of Habitat Conservation is working to restore habitat to support fisheries, protected species, and coastal communities.

Graphic celebrating Habitat Month showing the dark blue outlines of a bird, a school of fish, and seagrass.

We are excited to kick off Habitat Month! All month long, we will share amazing habitat conservation efforts through our website and social media. The theme this year is "Growing Habitat Together.” We will focus on how NOAA Fisheries is working with our partners to make a historic impact to restore coastal habitats and support communities across the country. We are expanding our work, growing new partnerships, and growing more actual habitat.

We are continuing our work to support fisheries and coastal communities through habitat conservation and coastal resilience efforts. This includes: 

  • Fish passage projects that restore access to healthy habitats for migratory fish
  • Habitat restoration projects that support fisheries and protected species while also strengthening the resilience of coastal ecosystems and communities
  • Capacity building and on-the-ground restoration projects that advance the coastal habitat restoration priorities of tribes and underserved communities

During July, we will highlight a variety of different habitat conservation projects and products. Follow us here and on Twitter (@NOAAHabitat, #HabitatMonth).  Also, be sure to stay up-to-date by becoming a HabitatNews subscriber. Help spread the word about the importance of habitat conservation in making an impact for coastal ecosystems and communities.

Habitat Features

Podcast: Restoring the Klamath River Basin—The Largest Dam Removal Project in the World

How the restoration of the Klamath watershed, the largest dam removal project in the world, will reopen access to habitat for the threatened and endangered native fish of the area.

Listen to the podcast on Restoring the Klamath River Basin

The Klamath River mouth. Credit: Thomas Dunklin
The Klamath River mouth. Credit: Thomas Dunklin

Two Fish Passage Funding Opportunities Now Open, One Focused on Tribes

Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, NOAA is seeking proposals for fish passage projects that will reopen migratory pathways and restore access to healthy habitat for fish around the country.

NOAA seeking proposals for fish passage projects 

Two heavy construction machines demolish a dam
Removal of Veazie Dam on the Penobscot River in 2013. Credit: Penobscot River Restoration Trust.

$3.2 Million Recommended for Great Lakes Habitat Restoration

Funding for two ongoing and two new cooperative agreements will support habitat restoration efforts that strengthen Great Lakes fisheries, ecosystems, and communities.

Recommended funding for Great Lakes Habitat Restoration

Four people in two red canoes paddle through a wetland
Visitors paddle through a portion of Howard Marsh, the site of ongoing restoration work by NOAA and partners. (Photo: Metroparks Toledo)

More Than $910,000 Recommended for Ruth Gates Coral Restoration Innovation Grants Projects

Projects will develop novel restoration and intervention methods to promote resilient coral ecosystems in a changing climate.

Ruth Gates Coral Restoration Innovation Grant Projects

Orange-brown branching coral mixed in with light tan feather-like coral on a sandy seafloor
Restored staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) at Looe Key reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Staghorn coral, along with elkhorn coral and star corals, built Caribbean coral reefs over the last 5,000 years. NOAA Fisheries and partners are using a variety of innovative techniques to study, protect, and restore these threatened corals. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

NOAA Funding Supports Chesapeake Bay Watershed Environmental Education

NOAA is recommending nearly $2.62 million for NOAA Chesapeake Bay-Watershed Education and Training projects that support student learning, teacher training, and more.

Funding is part of the Chesapeake Bay-Watershed Education and Training program

Two women lean over to examine how one of the women is holding a yardstick in a stream as other people look on. Credit: Virginia Commonwealth University.
Professional development experiences funded by Chesapeake B-WET give educators the tools they need to help their students become environmentally literate. Photo: Virginia Commonwealth University.

Chesapeake Bay Oyster Reef Restoration Acreage Surpasses 2 Square Miles

More than 1,055 football fields of healthy reef habitat now support the ecosystem and the economy.

Chesapeake Bay oyster reef restoration

An aerial view of a crane moving hard substrate from the deck of a barge into the Piankatank River
Hard substrate is moved from a barge into the Piankatank River to form a reef onto which oysters can settle. Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Stranding Network Partners Successfully Relocate Trapped Mother and Dolphin Calf in Louisiana

Stranding experts monitored the pair for more than a year until the calf was old enough to be moved.

Learn more about the successful relocation

two dolphins swim at the surface of dark blue water.
A mother and dolphin calf trapped in a tidal pond system near Grand Isle, Louisiana for over a year were recently tagged and relocated to open water. The pair became trapped in the tidal pond system after Hurricane Ida. Multiple partners from the Louisiana Marine Mammal Stranding Network coordinated the effort. Credit: NOAA Fisheries (Permit #24359)

Two NOAA Programs Support Restoration After Coastal Pollution

NOAA is “Growing Habitat Together” through the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration and the Deepwater Horizon programs.

Learn more about the programs

a marsh is shown with 3 boats going down a river with a wake behind them
Healthy habitats are vital to our nation’s fisheries and protected species—and to our vibrant coastal economies. (Credit: State of Louisiana)

NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program Website

The Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program is administered by the Office of Habitat Conservation within NOAA Fisheries. It is the nation’s only federal research program dedicated to increasing scientific understanding of deep-sea coral ecosystems. This work informs critical management decisions about these habitats and the ecosystems they support in every region of the United States and its territories. On this website you can learn more about the Program, explore our regional initiatives, and search and download publications related to our work. 

Visit the website

A close-up of a bright purple branching coral
Scientists observed this unusual purple deep-sea coral during an expedition in U.S. Northeast waters. During the dive, the expedition team also saw at least five species of black corals, a bamboo coral, and two other species of soft coral. Credit: NOAA Ocean Exploration

StoryMap: Explore Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities Expeditions in the Gulf of Mexico

Learn about expeditions informing restoration of habitats injured in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Explore the storymap 

A screenshot of the NOAA mesophotic and deep benthic communities restoration StoryMap

West Coast Wraps Up Exciting 4-Year Deep-Sea Coral Initiative

The effort has greatly improved our understanding of deep-sea corals and sponges off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington, particularly within national marine sanctuaries.

West Coast Deep-Sea Coral Research Initiative

A snowy white deep-sea coral with branches fanning out from the sea floor. An orange crab is perched atop.
A colony of the deep-sea coral Parastenella supporting a cluster of orange zoanthids and a deep-sea crab, extends from a ledge deep in Quinault Canyon off the coast of Washington State. Credit: Ocean Exploration Trust, NOAA Sanctuaries

Community Comes Together to Replant a Restored Marsh in North Carolina

Marsh restoration in the Cape Fear River Basin is helping to improve water quality and offer storm protection.

Marsh restoration in the Cape Fear River Basin

a marsh with juvenile plants is shown with multiple volunteers in the background
New plants are shown in the Carolina Beach marsh area (NOAA Fisheries)

Gear Up for the Summer Snapper Season with Return ‘Em Right

Gulf of Mexico offshore anglers: prep for summer reef fish seasons with gear, training, and giveaways to help fish survive.

Learn more about the Return 'Em Right project

a red snapper is held partially underwater off the side of a boat with a SeaQualizer descending device in its mouth
Red Snapper on SeaQualizer Descending Device

Habitat Restoration in the Great Lakes: By the Numbers

NOAA’s habitat restoration work in the Great Lakes strengthens healthy fisheries and ecosystems, benefits local economies, and supports resilient communities.

NOAA's habitat restoration in the Great Lakes

Aerial view of a large forested island in the middle of a river
Aerial view of Belle Isle in the Detroit River. (Photo: Friends of the Detroit River)

Video: Treasuring the Choptank—Residents and Scientists Envision a Healthier Chesapeake Bay

On Maryland's Eastern Shore, NOAA and partners are conducting science, restoring habitat, and working with community organizations to help residents develop and implement their vision for a healthy Choptank River.

Science and restoration on the Choptank River

Story Map: Commencement Bay

Reinvigorating a critical urban estuary.

View the story map

A crew of workers removing invasive plants on an industrial shoreline.
An EarthCorps, trains and provides jobs working on habitat restoration, like this shoreline revitalization project in Commencement Bay. Credit: EarthCorps

Story Map: Tour 30 Restoration Projects Supporting Healthy Habitat and Stronger Communities

This interactive story map highlights 30 projects to celebrate almost 30 years of work by the NOAA Restoration Center and our partners.

View the story map

GulfCorps building oyster reefs to protect eroding shorelines.


Last updated by Office of Communications on August 10, 2023

Habitat Month