NOAA is recommending $9 million in funding for 17 coastal and marine habitat restoration projects for its 2016 Community-based Restoration Program, as part of agency efforts to support healthy ecosystems and resilient coastal communities.
The recommended projects, in 10 states and territories, range from coral reef restoration in Florida to fish passage improvements in California.
This year’s projects will restore habitat for a variety of coastal and marine species, including three of NOAA Fisheries’ highly at-risk “Species in the Spotlight” – Atlantic salmon, Central California Coast coho, and Sacramento River winter-run Chinook. Projects will also concentrate on habitat improvement in two of NOAA’s Habitat Focus Areas – Puerto Rico’s Culebra Island, and West Hawaii – where agency and partner efforts can come together to yield community and environmental benefits.
“These restoration projects are a win-win for the environment and surrounding communities,” said Pat Montanio, director of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation. “When we make smart investments in habitat restoration, we not only help sustain fisheries and recover protected resources, we also use these projects to provide additional benefits, like protecting coastal communities from flooding and erosion, and boosting local economies through increased recreational opportunities.”
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Community-based Restoration Program, which was established in 1996 and authorized under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006. Since the program’s beginning, NOAA has provided more than $140 million to implement more than 2,000 habitat restoration projects, all through strong partnerships with more than 2,500 organizations. Through the program and the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NOAA and its partners are helping to create healthy habitats and resilient fish populations in the United States.
At this point in the selection process, the application approval and obligation of funds is not final. Each of the 17 applications is being “recommended” and is not a guarantee of funding. Final approval is subject to funding availability as well as final review and approval by both the NOAA Grants Management Division and Department of Commerce Federal Assistance Law Division. Applicants should expect to receive formal notification of award approval by October 1.
Details about the 17 projects recommended for funding are available on the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation website.
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