Priorities for Habitat Restoration Grants
The following information relates to one or more Federal Funding Opportunities (FFOs) published by the NOAA Restoration Center. Please refer to the actual FFO document to see if this information is relevant. All Federal Funding Opportunities published by the Restoration Center have a point of contact, if you need to confirm the relevant priorities for the funding opportunity.
How do I find information about target species?
Some Federal Funding Opportunities published by NOAA ask applicants to describe the benefits of their project to species listed as Endangered or Threatened under the Endangered Species Act, managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, or of recreational fishing importance. Here are some resources to assist applicants in determining what species fall in these categories, and where those species live.
Endangered Species Act Resources
Species in the Spotlight - A list of species and their action plans.
Critical Habitat Maps - Critical Habitat is a designation that describes habitat essential for conservation of the Listed species.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Resources
Managed Fish Stocks - View NOAA Fisheries' quarterly updates to the status of fish stocks managed under federal fishery management plans.
Regional Fishery Management Councils - Click the map or logos for links to Council websites, where you can find fishery management plans.
Essential Fish Habitat Mapper - Essential Fish Habitat is a designation that describes all waters and substrate necessary for the Managed fish’s life cycle.
Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Resources
National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy - View the NOAA Fisheries policy, and implementation plans, which provide guidance for Agency consideration in its deliberations pertaining to development and maintenance of enduring and sustainable high-quality, saltwater recreational fisheries.
Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Regional Snapshots - View information about recreational species near where you live.
How do I find planning documents that can support the relative importance of my project and context within the landscape?
Some Federal Funding Opportunities published by NOAA ask applicants to demonstrate the importance of their project within the watershed or other geographic boundary. This can be done by showing your project was included in a regional planning document or process. These collaborative planning efforts are strongest when they engage diverse communities in planning or ranking projects (e.g. government, non-profit, and industry), and gather organizations to co-fund restoration priorities. The following is a list of some examples, but our priorities are not limited to projects covered in these plans.
What watersheds are fish passage priorities in the northeast?
The Restoration Center’s Northeast region (Virginia through Maine) has developed fish passage priority watersheds to help inform our grant funding decisions. These priority watersheds were developed by first prioritizing Northeast Region diadromous species and then mapping these species’ current and historic distributions across the region.
These six factors best reflect restoration center objectives and priorities:
Fisheries management status
Protected status (federal and/or state)
Importance of barrier passage for species’ restoration
This table (PDF, 1 page) shows how each of these factors was scored from 0 (no importance) to 3 (high importance) for a given species, then summed for a Total Priority Index (TPI) score. TPI scores were sorted from largest to smallest and all species were subsequently assigned categorical priority ranks—high, medium, and low—that were represented in later analyses as weighting values of 3, 2, and 1.
The basic premise guiding fish passage prioritization is that watersheds with greater numbers of priority species are higher priority. For each Hydrologic Unit Code-08 (HUC-08) watershed, the weighting values for each species occurring there currently or historically were summed. The total co-occurrence score for each HUC-08 watershed could range from 0-27 because there are no watersheds where all species occur. We then binned the total co-occurrence scores as evenly as possible to assign final geographic priorities as high (19-27), medium (10-18), and low (0-9).
Highly valuing watersheds that have higher numbers of priority diadromous species allows the Restoration Center to more efficiently improve conditions for greater numbers of our trust resources.
How do I develop socioeconomic metrics for my habitat restoration project?
Some Federal Funding Opportunities published by NOAA ask applicants to monitor both the ecological and socioeconomic benefits of their proposed work. Suggestions for monitoring ecological benefits of restoration are available on our website. The socioeconomic benefits of restoration are varied, and include increased or maintained economic activity, improved or protected infrastructure and public safety, and enhanced recreation. The following resources may be beneficial in identifying and quantifying socioeconomic benefits of restoration.