The Greater Atlantic Region is home to salt marshes, rivers, seagrass beds, shellfish reefs, and our nation’s largest estuary: the Chesapeake Bay, which has been recognized as a national treasure. These important natural resources face challenges from pollution, development, overfishing, invasive species, and barriers to fish migration. Most rivers and streams in the Greater Atlantic Region contain fish passage barriers such as dams or culverts. In fact, returning Atlantic salmon in Maine are at an all-time low in part because of river barriers.
We work to protect, restore, and promote stewardship of marine, estuarine, and riverine habitat to support our nation’s fisheries for future generations. By conserving coastal and marine habitats, we directly contribute to the goals of other NOAA programs including protection and recovery of protected species, maintenance of sustainable fisheries, sustainable management of the nation’s coastal regions, and increased resiliency of coastal ecosystems and communities in a changing climate. We focus on two main activities: identification and conservation of essential fish habitat through fishery management, and consulting with federal agencies whose activities may negatively impact essential fish habitat and other marine life.
Learn more in our quick links below:
Habitat conservation in the Greater Atlantic Region
Essential fish habitat
Habitat conservation at NOAA Fisheries