Healthy habitat provides important areas for fish to eat and grow. But habitat can be polluted by oil and chemical spills, destroyed by development, or blocked by dams. When that happens, fish can’t live there anymore. This often means that there are fewer fish for other animals to eat or for people to catch. Restoration can help bring back that habitat—and those fish. By cleaning up after an oil spill, or removing a dam on a river, we can help fish get back to their natural habitat.
Habitat restoration helps people, too. Restoration creates jobs—an average of 15 jobs per $1 million invested. Restored coastal habitats provide clean water, support fish and wildlife, and protect coastal communities from storms. They also support boating, fishing, and tourism.
NOAA Restoration Center staff are experts in restoration, working with partners to help fish thrive. We focus on four priority habitat restoration approaches, where we can have the biggest impact to fishery production:
Reconnecting coastal wetlands
Restoring shallow corals
Rebuilding shellfish populations
Conducting large-scale wetland restoration in Louisiana
Helping migrating fish reach their habitat
Restoring the Great Lakes
Restoring the Gulf of Mexico
Recovering habitats after disasters
Restoring habitat strategically
Our interactive Restoration Atlas will help you find projects near you—search for projects by habitat type, location, or congressional district.
Did you know we’ve been restoring habitat for more than 25 years? During that time, we’ve restored more than 130,000 acres of habitat—marshes, wetlands, rivers, coral reefs, and more—leading to healthier, more abundant fish.
The EFH Mapper is a one-stop tool for viewing the spatial representations of fish species, their life stages and important habitats. We provide links to supporting materials, including fishery management plans, and the ability to download GIS data.
During #CoralsWeek at NOAA, we’re highlighting work that the Offices of Habitat Conservation and Response and Restoration performed, guiding the U.S. Coast Guard in removing vessels from coral reefs with endangered species in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
We hope to attract a diverse audience interested in engaging in meaningful discussions pertaining to the past, present, and future of diadromous species science, management, conservation and restoration, with an emphasis on re-establishing lost biological, physical, and social connections between and among humans, habitats, and fish. Learn more on the forum's site »
Ribbed mussels can remove nitrogen and other excess nutrients from an urban estuary and could help improve water quality in other urban and coastal locations, according to a study in New York City’s Bronx River. The findings, published in Environmental...
A new set of story maps explore deep-sea coral protection, the Gulf of Maine, and habitat modeling.