Habitat Restoration Supports Jobs, Stewardship

August 14, 2017

NOAA’s Office of Habitat Conservation has released a technical memorandum called “Socioeconomic Benefits of Habitat Restoration.”


The memo looks at the ecological and environmental benefits from 125 habitat restoration projects we funded through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

NOAA received $167 million dollars from the Recovery Act to restore coastal areas throughout the country. The primary goals were to restore habitats and stimulate economic growth by supporting “shovel-ready” projects. On-the-ground restoration opened historic river habitat, removed marine debris, reconnected tidal wetlands, and restored shellfish and coral reefs. Typical species that benefit from habitat restoration include flounder, perch, groundfish, and salmon.

Key benefits included:

  • Supported an average of 15 jobs per $1 million invested (up to 30 jobs per $1 million invested for labor-intensive projects).
  • Supported 2,280 jobs, the majority of which were directly created by Recovery Act funding.
  • Restored 25,584 acres of habitat, opened 677 miles of stream for fish to reach spawning habitat, and removed 433,397 tons of debris from coastal habitats.
  • Expended $154.1 million dollars on projects to generate $260.5 million dollars in economic output (sales) annually.
  • Contributed $143.7 million dollars in new or expanded economic activity nationwide.

These projects also enhanced a sense of community-level stewardship toward the restored habitats.

Read the full memorandum for additional information, including case studies of several restoration projects. See our factsheet for a summary (PDF, 2 pages).


Posted July 28, 2017

Last updated by Office of Habitat Conservation on February 21, 2018