Fish use many habitats during their lifetimes, sometimes migrating from one habitat type to another and back again. We protect and restore these coastal habitats to improve fish populations and improve coastal resilience. Learn more about the types of habitat we conserve and how we address their unique challenges.
Wetlands filter our water, protect our coastal communities from floods, and provide habitat for fish and other wildlife—but they’re quickly disappearing. We’re working hard to protect and restore these valuable habitats.
Learn more about coastal wetlands
Hundreds—even thousands—of feet beyond the reach of sunlight, unique corals and sponges are found off all of our coasts. Learn about our ongoing exploration of these hidden habitats and the new and familiar species we’ve found thriving there.
Learn more about deep-sea corals
Estuaries exist where rivers arrive at the sea or large lake. Also called bays, sloughs, and sounds, these unique habitats are home to most of the fish and shellfish eaten in the United States at some point in their lives.
Learn more about estuaries
Oysters grow together—shell upon shell—building substantial reefs that become shelter for other local sea life. Not only good to eat, oysters filter the water, improving water quality. Over-harvesting, pollution, and disease have contributed to the demise of oysters in the United States.
Learn more about oyster reefs
One of the main reasons fish populations struggle is that barriers like dams prevent them from reaching the upstream habitat where they breed and grow. Learn about why fish migration is important and what we’re doing to help.
Learn more about rivers
Called the “rainforests of the sea,” coral reefs are the most diverse habitats on the planet. Many commercially important fish species depend on coral reefs for food and shelter. They also support tourism and protect coastlines, but these habitats are threatened by rising ocean temperatures, pollution, and other factors.
Learn more about shallow corals
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.
A new set of story maps explore deep-sea coral protection, the Gulf of Maine, and habitat modeling.
Salmon habitat restoration work is not for everyone—think heavy lifting, unpredictable weather, and sometimes remote locations. You’ll definitely get your feet wet. All this is necessary, however, if we’re going to save wild salmon from extinction.
A new story map shows the benefits of habitat restoration in the Great Lakes, which benefits people and fish.