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Funds will be used to restore marine habitat and protect aquatic species

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today awarded The Nature Conservancy a grant of $500,000 to implement habitat restoration projects in seven states across the country. NOAA is an agency of the Department of Commerce.

The Conservancy is partnering with NOAA Fisheries to implement innovative restoration projects that benefit marine, estuarine and riparian habitats in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina and Oregon.

“We are constantly working to strengthen local and regional initiatives, such as habitat restoration and coordinate our efforts with the private sector,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. “Working with organizations like The Nature Conservancy allows us to expand our efforts and prioritize restoration activities to make the best use of NOAA’s financial and technical resources.”

The Conservancy works with partners to implement conservation activities tailored to local needs. These projects protect coastal and marine habitat, restore species that are important to ecosystem functions, remove invasive species while bringing back native plants and animals, create shellfish spawner sanctuaries and re-establish water flows to estuaries.

”Our marine and coastal ecosytems are incredibly threatened,” said Steve McCormick, president of The Nature Conservancy. “Working with NOAA allows the Conservancy and its local partners to protect these ecosystems and restore areas that had been damaged.”

Today’s award marks the final year of a three-year cooperative partnership between the Conservancy and the NOAA Restoration Center. Over the past two years, The Nature Conservancy has awarded funds that are forging on-the-ground restoration relationships in ten states. Among the places being restored are Puget Sound in Washington State, Dickenson Bay in Texas and Pamlico Bay in North Carolina. Working with NOAA and local partners, the Conservancy has served as a necessary bridge helping to build restoration expertise and knowledge around the nation.

The Community-based Restoration Program (CRP), a financial and technical assistance program within the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, promotes strong partnerships at the national, regional and local level to fund grassroots, community-based activities. The NOAA-funded projects provide strong on-the-ground habitat restoration components that offer educational and social benefits for people and their communities in addition to long-term ecological benefits for fishery resources. More information about the CRP can be found at

The Nature Conservancy is a leading international, nonprofit organization that preserves plants, animals and natural communities representing the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 14 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 102 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. To learn more about The Nature Conservancy’s new Marine Initiative, visit

In fiscal year 2003, NOAA has awarded more than 475 grants totaling more than $204 million to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 33 years.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. To learn more about NOAA, please visit

On the Web:


NOAA Administrator, Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D.:

NOAA Fisheries:

NOAA Restoration Center:

NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation:

The Nature Conservancy’s new Marine Initiative:

Coastal Zone Management program: