Pacific Islands Cooperative Agreements
Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) allows state agencies (including American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam) to enter into cooperative agreements with NOAA Fisheries to enhance collaborative efforts focused on the conservation of threatened, endangered, candidate, and proposed species.
Under section 6, a state agency may enter into an agreement with NOAA Fisheries if it establishes and maintains an "adequate and active" program for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. After the agreement is in place, NOAA Fisheries may assist and provide federal funding for the implementation of the state's conservation program.
Within the Pacific Islands region, NOAA Fisheries currently hold section 6 cooperative agreements with:
- The State of Hawaiʻi (August 2006)
- Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (December 2009)
- Guam (March 2014)
NOAA Fisheries conducts a statutorily required annual review of all section 6 agreements to ensure that its partner states are maintaining active and adequate programs for endangered and threatened species conservation. States are required each year to submit information to NOAA Fisheries to assist in this review.
Species Recovery Grants Program
NOAA Fisheries annually advertises a competitive Species Recovery Grants to States Program (ESA section 6) open only to states with cooperative agreements in place. Federal funding, provided through these grants, can be used to support management, outreach, research, and monitoring projects that have direct conservation benefits for listed species, recently de-listed species, and candidate species that reside within that State. Since it began in 2003, the Species Recovery Grants program has provided close to $30 million dollars in federal funding for species recovery projects being carried out by state agencies.
Projects, funded through the Species Recovery Grants Program, are a vital component of the broader NOAA Fisheries species recovery program. As more state partnerships are formed through the ESA section 6 program, and as additional funding becomes available, more listed and candidate marine species will benefit. Ultimately, the goal of these efforts is to recover imperiled species, making ESA protection unnecessary, and allow for de-listing of species.
Funding through the program may be used to support conservation efforts for listed, de-listed and candidate species, as well as species proposed for listing; however, threatened and endangered species receive higher priority when funding decisions are made. Within the Pacific Islands region, the following species under the jurisdiction of NOAA are listed as either threatened or endangered:
- Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas
- Central North Pacific DPS - Threatened
- Central South Pacific DPS - Endangered
- Central West Pacific DPS - Endangered
- Hawksbill Turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata - Endangered
- Leatherback Turtle, Dermochelys coriacea - Endangered
- Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta - Endangered
- Olive Ridley Turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea - Threatened
- Blue Whale, Balaenoptera musculus - Endangered
- Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalus - Endangered
- Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae - Endangered
- North Pacific Right Whale, Eubalaena japonica - Endangered
- Sei Whale, Balaenoptera borealis - Endangered
- Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus - Endangered
- Hawaiian Monk Seal, Monachus schauinslandi - Endangered
- Main Hawaiian Islands Insular False Killer Whale, Pseudorca crassidens - Endangered
- Acropora globiceps - Threatened
- Acropora jacquelineae - Threatened
- Acropora retusa - Threatened
- Acropora speciosa - Threatened
- Euphyllia paradivisa - Threatened
- Isopora crateriformis - Threatened
- Seriatopora aculeata - Threatened
- Funded Species Recovery Grants to States
- Guidance: Applying for a Section 6 Agreement [pdf]
- Frequently Asked Questions - Species Recovery Grants to States
For more information, please contact:
Pacific Islands Regional Office, Section 6 Coordinator