NOAA 2000-154
Contact: Kate Naughten


NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service awarded $270,500 worth of grants for eight community level habitat restoration projects designed to improve a variety of marine habitats important to fisheries in the Northeast.

"Every year since 1996 NOAA Fisheries has been able to maximize the impact of its Community-Based Restoration Program funding by partnering with local organizations and state agencies across the nation. These public-private partnerships are essential to our mission, and the communities that get behind them are some of our most important allies in the restoration of marine habitats," said NOAA Fisheries Director Penny Dalton.

The grants were awarded directly through NOAA Fisheries' Community-Based Restoration Program. Staff from the NOAA Restoration Center, NOAA Fisheries Science Centers and regional staff work closely with communities to aid in project development and implementation. In turn, the projects are monitored and maintained by communities, promoting stewardship and a heightened appreciation for the environment and its well-being.


  • NOAA awarded a $15,000 grant to the A.D. Makepeace Company in Plymouth County. The goal of the project is to replace a non-functioning wooden fishway with an Alaskan steep-pass fishway. This will restore alewife and blueback herring in the upper Agawam River by opening up over 200 acres of high quality spawning and nursery habitat.

New Hampshire

  • NOAA awarded a $30,000 grant to the Town of Rye Conservation Commission in Rye. The project, which is part of a larger Awcomin Marsh ecosystem restoration effort, will focus on restoring natural elevations to the marsh, creating transitional zones between marsh and upland habitats and the removal of the invasive plant Phragmites.
  • NOAA awarded a $55,000 grant to the University of New Hampshire's Jackson Estuarine Laboratory in Strafford County. This project will produce a manual that will provide citizens and resource managers with a simplified restoration method and the information needed to undertake a successful eelgrass restoration effort, from site selection through post-transplant monitoring. The manual will be used as an instructional tool to transfer habitat restoration techniques to the public.
  • NOAA awarded a $50,000 grant to the University of New Hampshire's Jackson Estuarine Laboratory in Strafford County. This project will rejuvenate the South Mill Pond ecosystem by restoring shellfish and salt marsh at two sites. South Mill Pond is an urbanized salt pond located within the Great Bay Estuary in Portsmouth.


  • NOAA awarded a $10,850 grant to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection to work with The Nature Conservancy's Connecticut Chapter and other project partners to control water chestnut in the Connecticut and Hockanum Rivers in Hartford County. Water chestnut poses a major threat to 36 miles of tidal Connecticut River that supports one of the largest and most stable populations of American shad in the U.S., and may impact an area that contains one of the least disturbed large-river tidal marsh systems in the Northeast.

New York

  • NOAA awarded a $50,000 grant to The Nature Conservancy's Orange County Chapter. This project will result in the removal of the Cuddebackville Dam on the Neversink River. The removal will open up 40 miles of the river's mainstem and countless tributaries to many species including American shad, hickory shad, striped bass and American eel. It also will benefit the population of an endangered freshwater mussel species that lives in the river.
  • NOAA awarded a $24,912 grant to the Town of North Hempstead. The town will be implementing a tidal wetlands restoration project in a degraded 1.5 acre tidal cove on the western shoreline of Hempstead Harbor. The goal of the project is to return the degraded lagoon from an open water habitat back into an emergent marsh.


  • NOAA awarded a $34,710 grant to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission in Norfolk. This project will build on pilot efforts to restore oyster populations in the Back River, adjacent to Langley Air Force Base by creating three-dimensional reefs and maintaining them as an oyster sanctuary.

The NOAA Community-Based Restoration Program has been working with community organizations since 1996 to support effective habitat restoration projects in marine, estuarine and riparian areas across the nation. To date, 166 projects in 24 states have been implemented using NOAA funding and leveraged funding from five major restoration partners, including the American Sportfishing Association's FishAmerica Foundation, Restore America's Estuaries, the Five Star Restoration Challenge Grant Program, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Fisheries Institute.