Commemorating 10 Years After Deepwater Horizon
April 2020 marked 10 years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It was the largest U.S. offshore oil spill in history, resulting in the tragic loss of human and marine life, and destruction of habitat. We published a number of features to tell the story of NOAA and other federal and Gulf state partners working to restore the Gulf of Mexico’s natural resources:
- A one-stop shop for all of our Deepwater Horizon 10-year commemoration features
- Two videos, one about the science behind the response to the spill, and another about how we’re restoring the Gulf
- A list of 10 questions and answers to educate you 10 years after the spill
More Funding for Habitat Restoration
NOAA Habitat added another year to our decades of experience supporting restoration through funding projects and providing expert advice. Three different funding announcements topped the charts. A brand new coral restoration grant effort kicked off, and two other programs that have been in action since the 1990s continued their impacts restoring coastal habitats:
- We announced the availability of $500,000 in funding for coral restoration under the new Ruth Gates Coral Restoration Grants
- We also announced $13 million funding awards for 31 different restoration projects in 15 states and territories through our Community-based Restoration Program
- Another $30 million was approved for two NOAA-sponsored restoration projects in Louisiana, in partnership with the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act Program
Muskegon Lake Nears Recovery in the Great Lakes
The partnership between NOAA and the Great Lakes Commission has been working for more than a decade. One effort is restoring Michigan’s Muskegon Lake watershed, once one of the region’s most degraded areas. These efforts are seeing results—Muskegon Lake could soon be removed from the list of most polluted spots in the Great Lakes.
- We explained the history of pollution in the area, and the comprehensive work it’s taken to recover
- Our partners also produced a short video to showcase some of the restoration projects
West Coast Dam Removal Brings Hope for Salmon in Washington
In partnership with American Rivers, the NOAA-supported demolition of the Middle Fork Nooksack Dam in Washington got underway in spring 2020 and finished in the fall. Removing the dam is restoring access to 16 miles of priority habitat for threatened salmon and steelhead in the Middle Fork Nooksack River.
- We illustrated the strong partnerships that helped the river flow freely again for the first time in decades
Habitat Month 2020: Reconnecting with Habitat
Our annual #HabitatMonth celebration went off without a hitch in July, focused on “Reconnecting with Habitat.” We looked ahead to reconnecting with partners and highlighted the importance of habitat connectivity to our work.
- Keep the celebration going by connecting to our all-things-Habitat Month feature
Our Habitat Team Continued Making a Difference in 2020
Along with partners, our work depends on the NOAA habitat conservation team—from interns just entering the field, to our new Director, and everyone in between. We gave some facetime to the folks doing habitat work across the country, adding a personal touch to the year’s news.
- Recruiting interns for science work in the Chesapeake Bay Office grabbed a lot of attention! (And we’re recruiting again this year)
- We made special connections to our Habitat Conservation team working in locations across the United States—highlighting their different roles in the conservation field
- We also announced our new Director of the Office of Habitat Conservation, Carrie Selberg Robinson
Thanks for following along with our list of 2020's top habitat highlights. We look forward to sharing more exciting habitat news in 2021!