Current and Past Community-Based Restoration Projects
The Community-based Restoration Program provides technical and financial assistance for habitat restoration projects that support our nation’s fisheries and lead to lasting benefits for communities and the environment.
Since its start in 1996, the Community-based Restoration Program has provided more than $203 million to implement more than 2,180 coastal habitat restoration projects. These projects have restored more than 92,000 acres of habitat for fish and opened 4,126 stream miles for fish. Below are descriptions of projects funded in Fiscal Years 2017 through 2020. Additional projects from prior years can be found in our Restoration Atlas.
Pacific Northwest and Alaska
Barnaby Reach Restoration Phase 1
The Skagit River System Cooperative will be awarded up to $698,746 over three years to provide access to 36 acres of off-channel habitat for Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. The Barnaby Reach Restoration Project will restore seasonal floodplain habitats with multiple hydrologic connections, upgrade culverts to restore fish passage, and reduce flood risk for the South Rockport community. The project also includes careful monitoring of the results to inform future phases.
Restoring Connectivity on Little Tonsina River: Top Fish Passage Priority for Copper River Watershed, Alaska
The Copper River Watershed Project will be awarded up to $1,000,901 over three years to replace two narrow 11-foot pipes with a clear span bridge. This project will provide passage for Chinook and coho salmon to 45 miles of habitat. Subsistence, sport, and commercial salmon fisheries drive the economies of the rural communities in the Copper River watershed, generating $23–40 million annually.
Meadowdale Beach Park Estuary Restoration Project
Snohomish County will be awarded $300,000 to restore a pocket estuary that will provide rearing habitat for juvenile Chinook, Coho, and Chum salmon as well as other species. Approximately 128 linear feet of armored embankment and an undersized culvert under the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad will be removed and replaced with a multi-span railroad bridge to create a 90-foot-wide channel opening at the mouth of Lund’s Gulch Creek, a coastal salmon bearing stream in Meadowdale Beach Park.
Upper Sandy River Basin Salmon and Steelhead Habitat Restoration
The Freshwater Trust will be awarded up to $1,039,029 over three years to restore salmon and steelhead habitat on four prioritized reaches in the Upper Sandy River Basin, which flows into the Columbia River in Oregon. In partnership with the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, The Freshwater Trust will restore flow to two miles of side channels, connect more than 100 acres of floodplains, and improve habitat through wood placement on more than 10 miles of stream, benefiting threatened coho salmon, spring and fall Chinook, and winter steelhead.
Cathlamet Bay Watershed Connectivity and Tidal Restoration Project
The Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce (CREST) was awarded up to $449,608 over two years to complete restoration at two sites located in Cathlamet Bay in the Columbia River Estuary. Restoration will improve the quality of and access to spawning, foraging, and rearing habitat for all Columbia River salmonids listed under the Endangered Species Act, including Chinook salmon, chum salmon, coho salmon, steelhead and sockeye salmon.
Coast Coho Recovery Implementation in Oregon
The Wild Salmon Center was awarded up to $2,321,380 over three years to implement habitat restoration projects across three Oregon coast watersheds: the Upper Rogue, Coos Bay, and Siletz River watersheds. The projects promote the recovery of Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast coho salmon and Oregon Coast coho salmon, both listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Community-Driven Species Recovery in Puget Sound's Whidbey Basin
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program was awarded up to $2,637,564 over three years to advance restoration of up to 2,350 acres of estuary habitat and 37 miles of river habitat in the Whidbey Basin of Puget Sound, Washington. Restoration will aid in the recovery of Chinook and steelhead salmon, both listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Middle Fork Nooksack River Fish Passage Project
American Rivers was awarded up to $860,653 over three years to remove the Middle Fork Nooksack Diversion Dam and restore the river channel to aid in the recovery of Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and coho salmon, as well as the Southern Resident killer whale, a NOAA Species in the Spotlight. Dam removal will increase species resiliency and restore a culturally significant site and improve the safety of water-based recreational users.
Rogue Basin Tributaries Initiative
Rogue Basin Partnership was awarded up to $583,000 over three years to implement multiple fish passage barrier removal actions across the Rogue Basin in the state of Oregon. Restoring hydrologic function and increasing availability of spawning and rearing habitat will benefit Southern Oregon/Northern California coho salmon, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Salmon SuperHwy Aquatic Organism Passage and Stream Restoration
Trout Unlimited was awarded up to $1,244,159 over two years to remove six barriers in the Tillamook and Nestucca watersheds of Oregon and restore fish passage to 15.3 miles of habitat. Together with partners, Trout Unlimited will remove the current barriers and replace them with bridges or larger culverts. Restoration will benefit Oregon Coast coho salmon (listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act), Chinook and chum salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout, and several lamprey species.
Fish Passage Restoration in Alaska
The Tyonek Tribal Conservation District was awarded $600,000 over two years to replace two undersized culverts and re-route one road. The project will restore access to nine upstream miles and 130 lake acres to multiple salmon species, providing benefits to both salmon and Cook Inlet beluga whales that rely on salmon as a food source.
Oregon Coast Coho Recovery Plan Implementation
The Wild Salmon Center was awarded $2,702,795 over three years to implement several projects to increase off-channel rearing habitat and improve the quality of in-stream habitat for Endangered Species Act-listed salmon. Restoration will be accomplished by reconnecting floodplain habitats, adding large woody debris, and reducing water temperatures in coastal Oregon rivers. The selected projects will be implemented across three priority watersheds.
Pacific Southwest: California and Hawaii
Restoring High Priority Habitat for Coastal Mendocino California Coho Salmon and Steelhead Trout Populations
Trout Unlimited will be awarded up to $1,383,177 over three years to restore sites on legacy timber lands and prioritized in recovery plans, benefitting several species including California Coho salmon and steelhead trout. The proposal combines three types of restoration: fish passage improvement and hydrologic reconnection, roads and sediment reduction, and instream habitat improvement. The project proposes to complete design or implementation of 24 individual projects across the region over a three-year period, with eight starting in the first year.
Mad River Estuary Floodplain Habitat Enhancement Project: Providing Off-Channel Winter Habitat for Juvenile Salmonids in the Estuary of the Mad River, Humboldt County CA
Caltrout will be awarded $490,167 to restore off-channel habitat on the Mad River, which is severely limited in estuarine and off-channel habitat for rearing winter juvenile salmonids. The project area contains leveed percolation ponds used as part of a defunct wastewater management facility that are being decommissioned. The project aims to remove all wastewater infrastructure from the project site, restore connection to the river, and provide off-channel ponds, backwater channels, and wetlands to increase the quantity and quality of available habitat.
Southern California White Abalone Restoration Project
The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation will be awarded up to $330,788 over three years to restore the federally endangered white abalone, a NOAA Species in the Spotlight, in rocky reef habitats along southern California. The primary restoration approach is captive propagation and out-planting of juvenile white abalone to appropriate rocky reef habitats off the Coast of Los Angeles County.
Willow Bend Side Channel Restoration
River Partners will be awarded up to $150,946 over three years to reconnect the side channel to the Sacramento River by removing two man-made obstructions. Restoration will allow water and juvenile salmon to access 3,400 linear feet of side channel that will flow through a mature riparian forest during annual high flow events. The project addresses numerous stressors identified in recovery plans for Sacramento River winter-run Chinook, Central Valley spring-run Chinook, and Central Valley steelhead.
Garcia River Estuary Salmonid Habitat Enhancement Implementation
The Nature Conservancy was awarded up to $2,862,064 over three years to enhance in-channel and floodplain habitat for coho and other salmonids in the lower Garcia River and estuary. Coho salmon in the Garcia River in northern California are one of twelve independent populations within the Central California Coast coho salmon evolutionarily significant unit, a NOAA Species in the Spotlight.
Kawaihae Watershed Restoration
The Kohala Center was awarded $1,500,000 to reduce land-based sediment runoff in the Kawaihae watershed within the West Hawaii Habitat Focus Area. The project will erect 12 miles of fencing to protect 8,500 acres, remove more than 1,000 feral goats from the landscape, and revegetate a 10-acre riparian corridor with native trees and shrubs. This will restore one of the most degraded watersheds in the region and will improve the health and function of the nearshore coral reef ecosystem.
Lawrence Creek Reconnection of Critical Off-Channel Salmon Habitat
Trout Unlimited was awarded up to $280,156 to design and construct an off-channel floodplain habitat restoration project in Lawrence Creek. Lawrence Creek is a high priority stream for the recovery of Endangered Species Act-listed salmon and steelhead in California. The project will restore approximately five acres and approximately 1,000 feet of off-channel habitat.
Ocean Ranch Restoration Project
Ducks Unlimited was awarded $1,419,424 to restore estuarine and coastal dune habitat in California. The project will restore more than 800 acres of the Eel River estuary habitat to help recover Endangered Species Act-listed steelhead, coho, and Chinook salmon. The project will reestablish a healthy ecosystem, increase resilience to storm events and sea level rise, and provide habitat for juvenile migratory fish to grow before heading out to sea. The project will also enhance populations of 14 managed species.
Lower Prairie Creek Restoration Project
Save the Redwoods League was awarded $603,375 to restore rearing, spawning, and over-winter habitat for three species of Endangered Species Act-listed salmon. The project will restore 18 acres of wetland habitat, and will improve habitat complexity, restore floodplain access, and increase food and growth potential for juvenile fish. The Prairie Creek watershed in California contains some of the best potential habitat to contribute to the recovery of steelhead, coho, and Chinook salmon populations within the larger watershed system.
Pescadero Creek Streamflow Improvement Project
The San Mateo County Resource Conservation District was awarded $421,764 to implement irrigation improvements and create an off-stream reservoir in coastal San Mateo County, California. This project provides direct benefits to Endangered Species Act-listed salmon by reducing diversion rates within Pescadero Creek, allowing for enough water flow for salmon to migrate upstream during critical streamflow periods.
Restoring the Wild and Scenic Pawcatuck: Removal of the Final Migratory Fish Passage Barrier at the Potter Hill Dam
The Town of Westerly will be awarded up to $937,855 over three years to remove the last significant physical barrier on the mainstem of the Pawcatuck River. Fish passage at the Potter Hill dam will restore access to over 83 miles of stream and over 3,000 acres of ponds used by alewife to spawn. NOAA and other restoration partners have previously removed five other barriers to passage on the Pawcatuck.
Removal of Lower Collinsville Dam, Farmington River Burlington CT
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will be awarded up to $1,000,000 over three years to design plans for, permit, and remove the 15-foot-tall Lower Collinsville Dam on the Farmington River. The removal will allow an additional mile of fish passage for migratory fish like American shad, alewife, blueback herring, and American eel. The Lower Collinsville Dam is considered hazardous; its removal eliminates risks associated with an obsolete dam and increases community resilience during times of flooding.
Third Herring Brook Restoration: Peterson Pond Dam
The North and South Rivers Watershed Association, Inc., will be awarded up to $100,000 over two years to remove the Peterson Pond Dam on the Third Herring Brook, on the border of Hanover and Norwell, Massachusetts. The removal of this dam builds on downstream dam removals completed with NOAA support. The project will open an additional 1.3 miles of river habitat for migratory fish, specifically American shad, alewife, and blueback herring.
Essential Fish Habitat Restoration in the Piankatank River
The Virginia Marine Resources Commission was awarded up to $1,669,752 over four years to construct and monitor new oyster reefs in the Piankatank River in Virginia. The work will be conducted in accordance with the Piankatank River Oyster Restoration Tributary Plan. Constructing 30 to 40 acres of oyster reef per year will largely complete the Piankatank River oyster restoration goal. Reefs in this area support 11 species managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, including Atlantic butterfish, bluefish, summer flounder, and black sea bass.
Herring River Restoration Project
Friends of Herring River was awarded up to $1,301,539 over three years to design and permit the Herring River Restoration Project, which will return tidal flow to the Herring River estuary in Massachusetts. The Herring River is the largest estuary on outer Cape Cod, but has been severely impacted by the construction of the Chequessett Neck Road dike in 1908. The natural salt marsh peat substrate has sunk over time and has released sulfuric acid that kills fish and other aquatic life, adding to the problems caused by low summertime dissolved oxygen levels. Restoration of the 1,000-acre wetland will occur over a period of time that allows for gradual rebuilding of the salt marsh.
Jones River, Elm Street Dam Removal at Head of Tide
The Jones River Watershed Association was awarded up to $250,000 over two years to remove an in-stream migration barrier, the Elm Street Dam, on the Jones River in Kingston, Massachusetts. This project will increase the amount of habitat accessible to diadromous species—such as river herring—through a head-of-tide dam removal in one of the highest priority watersheds in the Northeast. Completion of this project will provide enhanced fish passage through approximately four miles of the Jones River and an additional five miles of tributary stream habitat.
Oyster Production for Tributary-Scale Oyster Habitat Restoration
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources was awarded up to $2,400,000 over three years to place spat-on-shell on up to 100 acres of oyster reefs in five Maryland tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay: Harris Creek, Little Choptank, Tred Avon, St. Mary’s River, and Manokin River. Spat-on-shell will be produced by the University of Maryland’s Horn Point Hatchery. Increased oyster density is expected to lead to enhanced ecosystem services at the target sites, including water filtration, oyster spawning capacity, and habitat for fish species, including the federally listed shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon.
Temple Stream Habitat Connectivity Project
The Atlantic Salmon Federation was awarded up to $1,065,551 over three years to improve floodplain connectivity and remove barriers to fish passage in the Kennebec River watershed in Maine. The removal of Walton’s Mill Dam and the replacement of two road-stream crossings will provide access to 52.3 miles of high-quality stream habitat to endangered Atlantic salmon, a NOAA Species in the Spotlight, as well as American eel, blueback herring, brook trout, sea lamprey, and other species. The project will also improve a local park and reduce the costs of structural repair and maintenance for the community.
Town River Restoration Project: High Street Dam Removal & Bridge Replacement
The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game was awarded $175,000 to plan for the restoration of Town River by removing the obsolete High Street Dam and replacing the undersized, 200-year-old High Street Bridge. Project partners will develop engineered designs for dam removal and bridge replacement and open 10 miles of habitat for species like river herring and American eel.
Holmes Dam Removal
The Town of Plymouth, Massachusetts was awarded $1,500,000 to remove a 16-foot high, 275-foot-long high-hazard dam and replace a bridge in poor condition within the Town Brook watershed. Dam removal opened access for river herring to spawning habitat, leading to a predicted increase in the fish run to a new total of 500,000 individuals. The removal also protects surrounding infrastructure and reduces flood vulnerability during extreme weather events by increasing floodplain storage volume and adds to more than 20 years of restoration in Town Brook.
Monatiquot River Restoration Project
The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game was awarded $100,000 to complete engineering and design for the removal of the Armstrong and Ames Pond Dams on the Monatiquot River. Removal of these dams will restore access to 36 miles of river corridor for river herring and American eel. When implemented, the projects will also eliminate risk of structural failure and potential damage to surrounding infrastructure.
Restoring Passage for Alewife and Atlantic Salmon in the Upper Narraguagus River Watershed
Project SHARE was awarded $154,000 to replace nine culverts in the upper Narraguagus River watershed in coastal Maine. Restoring access to cold-water tributaries is a top priority for recovery of Endangered Species Act-listed Atlantic salmon, a NOAA Species in the Spotlight. This project restores fish passage to approximately 18 stream miles and improves access to nearly 300 acres of important spawning and rearing habitat for Atlantic salmon, alewife, and American eel.
Southeast and Caribbean
Large-Scale Oyster Sanctuaries in North Carolina to Benefit NOAA Trust Resources and Habitat
The North Carolina Coastal Federation will be awarded up to $2,250,000 over three years to implement oyster reef restoration in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina. This project will add up to 15 acres of new habitat to the Swan Quarter Oyster Sanctuary, in partnership with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. Restoration will benefit the snapper-grouper complex, particularly gag grouper, as well as white, brown, and pink shrimp and other economically important species.
Restoring the Seagrass-Coral Reef Continuum Habitats Across Heavily Hurricane-Impacted Coastal Areas in Culebra Island, Puerto Rico
Sociedad Ambiente Marino will be awarded up to $704,451 over three years to restore endangered corals and seagrass beds damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Over the project period, 21,000 endangered corals and 4,128 seagrass plugs will be outplanted adjacent to coral sites to speed up natural recruitment and recovery. These ecosystems are considered essential habitat for species such as Nassau grouper, Caribbean spiny lobster, butterflyfish, gray snapper, queen triggerfish, redtail parrotfish, sand tilefish, trunkfish, yellowtail snapper, white grunt, and queen conch.
Continue Implementation of NOAA's Habitat Blueprint Focus Area Priority Actions in Culebra Island, Puerto Rico to Restore Coral Reef Critical Habitat
Protectores de Cuencas, Inc., will be awarded up to $500,414 over three years to stabilize three to four miles of unpaved roads in Culebra to address runoff and reduce impacts to the marine environment. The project will build on efforts started in 2013 to address land-based sources of pollution and support conservation of the Northeast Reserves Marine Ecological Corridor Habitat Blueprint Focus Area. Culebra’s coral reefs provide habitat and feeding grounds for over seventeen Endangered Species Act listed species, including green and hawksbill sea turtles and all seven listed corals in the Caribbean.
Coupled Restoration of Intertidal and Subtidal Oyster Reef to Rebuild Habitat and Fisheries
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi will be awarded up to $507,929 over three years to implement intertidal and subtidal oyster reef restoration in St. Charles Bay, Texas. This coupled restoration approach will create 3.9 acres of new habitat that supports saltwater recreational fisheries and reduces shoreline erosion. This restoration effort will benefit black drum, stone crab, naked goby, skilletfish, and other economically important fish and crustaceans.
Jump-Starting Mission: Iconic Reefs: Sexually Propagated Acropora corals and Diadema urchins for Priority Reefs in the Florida Keys
The Florida Aquarium will be awarded up to $1,529,735 over three years to propagate corals in land-based nurseries, grow them in ocean-based nurseries, and outplant them to sites at Looe Key and Horseshoe Reefs, two of the seven reefs outlined in the innovative “Mission: Iconic Reefs.” Over the life of the project, 4,250 threatened Acropora palmata will be outplanted to help restore 1,785 square meters of coral habitat. Diadema urchins will also be spawned and cultured at a land-based facility.
Better Gut Fauna: Opening Diadromous Fish Habitat on the Roanoke River
The Nature Conservancy was awarded up to $302,009 over two years to improve floodplain connectivity and remove barriers to fish passage on the Roanoke River in North Carolina. Secondary benefits will include reduction of flooding to local communities and enhancement of water quality. This project will improve habitat quality for shortnose sturgeon, Atlantic sturgeon, and river herring.
Community-Based Living Shoreline Creation in the Urbanized Watershed of Charleston County
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was awarded up to $560,226 over three years to create 13 living shorelines that will address habitat loss and erosion in Charleston County. The projects will engage a diverse community of stakeholders to create three acres of oyster reefs and salt marsh along 3,800 linear feet of shoreline. Restored habitat will benefit species such as red drum, summer flounder, and white shrimp.
Culebra Island Restoration of Coral Reef Critical Habitat
Protectores de Cuencas (PDC) was awarded up to $436,015 over three years to build on ongoing efforts in Culebra, Puerto Rico—a NOAA Habitat Focus Area—to address high sediment loads in the marine environment resulting from unstabilized dirt roads. Approximately 6 to 7 additional miles of dirt roads will be stabilized to address runoff from bare soil areas, specifically in Puerto del Manglar, Larga, and San Isidro sub-watersheds.
Daylighting Phase McCoys Creek Habitat Restoration
Groundwork Jacksonville, Inc. was awarded up to $357,280 over one year to complete permitting and design plans to enhance fish passage in McCoys Creek, a tributary of the St. Johns River in Florida. The project will remove an 850-foot culvert and daylight the stream, creating 4,000 feet of open channel, 11 acres of tidal marsh, and 5.5 acres of open water habitat to provide ecological, recreational, and flood mitigation benefits to the Jacksonville urban landscape.
Implementing the Florida Keys Coral Disease Response & Restoration Initiative
Mote Marine Lab was awarded up to $2,800,000 over three years to restore degraded coral reef habitat and promote the recovery of threatened and endangered coral species. The project will grow 10,000 corals across five different species each year, and outplant 30,000 corals by securing them to the reef using best management practices for coral restoration. Mote will target resilient genotypes in order to further adaptation of the Florida Keys coral reefs to the dynamic, changing conditions related to weather and disease outbreaks.
Large-Scale Restoration of ESA Threatened Coral Species in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
The Coral Restoration Foundation was awarded up to $2,575,016 over three years to implement coral reef restoration by outplanting 84,255 nursery-grown corals for the purpose of restoring degraded coral reef habitat and promote recovery of Endangered Species Act-listed coral species. The project will outplant 75,255 corals across three reefs: Carysfort, Pickles, and Sombrero. An additional 9,000 corals will be outplanted using novel techniques to Horseshoe, Cheeca Rocks, Newfound Harbor, and Eastern Dry Rocks.