Program Priorities for Habitat Restoration Grants
The following information relates to funding opportunities supported by the NOAA Restoration Center. Please visit our Funding Opportunities page to find more information about available grants that may be suitable for your proposed projects.
How do I find information about target species or fisheries?
Some of our funding opportunities ask applicants to describe the benefits of their projects for: species listed as Endangered or Threatened under the Endangered Species Act (Listed Species), species managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Managed Species), species covered under the National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy and Implementation Plans, or native fish species of the Great Lakes. Here are some resources to assist applicants in determining which species fall in these categories, and where those species live.
Endangered Species Act Resources
Endangered and Threatened Marine Species - A directory of Endangered and Threatened species.
- 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 life cycle of Managed Species.
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.
Great Lakes Resources
- Current and Past Great Lakes Habitat Restoration Projects - View examples of habitat restoration projects in the Great Lakes that help to support ecosystems, communities, and local economies. These efforts have largely been supported through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
How do I find planning documents that can support the relative importance of a project within the landscape?
Some of our funding opportunities ask applicants to demonstrate the importance of their project within the watershed or other geographic boundary. This priority can be addressed by showing your project was included in a comprehensive planning document. The following is a list of some examples, but our priorities are not limited to projects covered in these plans.
Cape Fear River Basin Action Plan for Migratory Fish (PDF, 83 pages)
Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement (PDF, 21 pages)
Great Lakes Joint Strategic Plan (PDF, 38 pages)
Mat-Su Basin Strategic Action Plan (PDF, 137 pages)
Mission: Iconic Reefs Scientific and Collaborative Plan (PDF, 46 pages) and 2022–2025 Priorities (PDF, 2 pages)
Santee Basin Diadromous Fish Restoration Plan (PDF, 84 pages)
Scott River Watershed Council Strategic Action Plan (PDF, 249 pages)
Siuslaw River Strategic Action Plan for Coho Salmon Recovery (PDF, 106 pages)
South Fork Nooksack River Watershed Conservation Plan (PDF, 143 pages)
U.S. Virgin Islands Coral Reef Restoration Plan (PDF, 68 pages)
How do I demonstrate that a project enhances community and tribal resilience?
Some of our funding opportunities ask applicants to describe how their projects will enhance community and tribal resilience to climate hazards.
Community resilience refers to the capacity of a human community to absorb, withstand, respond to, and/or recover rapidly from disturbances linked to extreme weather events and climate hazards. Community resilience can also include the ability to plan and prepare for adverse effects of extreme weather events or climate hazards, and the capacity to adapt to changing environmental conditions.
- Building Community Resilience Through Habitat Restoration - View examples of habitat restoration projects that help protect the safety and well-being of coastal communities by buffering shorelines from erosion, reducing flooding, and removing potentially hazardous structures.
- What is Resilience? - Coastal resilience means building the ability of a community to "bounce back" after hazardous events such as hurricanes, coastal storms, and flooding – rather than simply reacting to impacts.
- Resilience Assets - The NOAA Environmental Literacy Program provides links to resources to help communities become more resilient to extreme weather events and other environmental hazards.
- Federally Recognized Tribes - The Bureau of Indian Affairs publishes a list of Federally Recognized Tribes and includes a Tribal Leader Directory Map on the Bureau of Indian Affairs website. These resources can be used to identify tribal partners for a project.
- Native Land Digital - This is a resource to learn what native peoples have lived on the lands where you have planned your project. This resource can be used to identify tribal partners for a project, including those that aren’t federally recognized.
- Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) - Traditional Ecological Knowledge has the potential to inform restoration projects. Use this NOAA Fisheries resource for Guidance and Best Practices for Engaging and Incorporating Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Decision-Making.
How do I develop socioeconomic metrics for my habitat restoration project?
Some of our funding opportunities ask applicants to propose socioeconomic performance measures for their proposed work. The socioeconomic benefits of restoration are varied, and include benefits for public safety and community enhancement. Public safety benefits may include infrastructure improvements, flood risk reduction, or removal of a physical hazard. Community enhancement benefits may include recreational or economic improvements. The following resources may be beneficial in identifying and quantifying socioeconomic benefits of restoration.
- Massachusetts Department of Ecological Restoration - Restoration and Economy Reports
- The Economic Value of Riparian Buffers
- Vulnerability and Resilience of Fishing Communities
- NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program - Social Science Program
- Benefit relevant indicators: Ecosystem services measures that link ecological and social outcomes
- Ecosystem Services
How do I develop monitoring and evaluation metrics for a habitat restoration project?
Some of our funding opportunities ask applicants to describe the habitat-based metrics that will be used to evaluate the success of the proposed restoration actions. Applicants should propose sufficient, cost-effective monitoring metrics that will assess whether the restoration actions were carried out as designed.
- Include parameters that evaluate short-term structural changes at the project site(s) (e.g., as-built surveys), and may also include a basic measure of success (e.g., presence/absence of target species)
- Propose pre-implementation data collection, when applicable
- Include parameters with quantitative or clearly defined targets
- Include parameters with targets that can be evaluated within approximately one year after project implementation
Proposals that include one of the NOAA Restoration Center’s four primary restoration methods (coral reef restoration, oyster reef restoration, hydrologic restoration, and fish passage) should incorporate the applicable implementation monitoring parameters found in the NOAA Restoration Center Implementation Monitoring (Tier 1) Guidance. The guidance document provides an overview of the preferred structure for Monitoring Plans. The monitoring guidance and regional contacts can be found on the Monitoring and Evaluation for Restoration Projects page.
How do I demonstrate the meaningful engagement of local tribal and/or underserved communities in my project?
Some of our funding opportunities ask applicants to demonstrate meaningful engagement of local tribal and/or underserved communities and describe how any barriers to engaging in project planning or accessing the project benefits will be addressed. This priority can be addressed by incorporating a variety of activities into your project. The following resource contains examples of activities that may help to achieve meaningful engagement with tribes and underserved communities:
- Meaningful Engagement of Tribes and Underserved Communities (PDF, 2 pages)