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News Releases 2003
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The National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), an agency of the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Gulf of Maine Association, on behalf of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, today announced a $400,000 grant to continue their three-year partnership to restore coastal fisheries habitat in the Gulf of Maine. Together, NOAA and Gulf of Maine Council will provide funding this year for projects in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada.
Through this grant, the Gulf of Maine Council is entering into the third year of a three year partnership with NOAA Fisheries to restore coastal and marine habitats in the Gulf of Maine. This coordinated restoration effort will also continue implementing Global Programme of Action Coalition (GPAC) protocols for restoration monitoring and the development of a web portal for Gulf of Maine restoration activities. Since 2001, NOAA and the Gulf of Maine Council have funded 22 restoration projects in three states and one province that border the Gulf of Maine. Examples of activities funded jointly under the NOAA/Gulf of Maine partnership include dam removal, fish passage improvements, invasive species removal, and restoring the tidal flow to tidally restricted saltmarsh environments.
"So much of New Hampshire's and New England's economy and heritage is linked to the health and vitality of the North Atlantic and the future of our marine economy is directly tied to responsibly addressing the issues of environmental protection and reasonable fish harvesting. The international and multi-state work of the Gulf of Maine Council is critical to the health of the North Atlantic, " stated Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"We are constantly working to improve our coastal environment and to strengthen local and regional partnerships that further our habitat restoration goals," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "With regional partnerships like this one, we are helping to repair degraded habitats in waters that support vital commercial fisheries and actively demonstrate NOAA's and the Bush Administration’s commitment to the marine environment."
NOAA's 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 http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/habitat/restoration.
The mission of the Gulf of Maine Council is to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf of Maine to allow for sustainable resource use by existing and future generations. The Council's Habitat Committee includes a Habitat Restoration subcommittee that meets on a regular basis and focuses on identifying and developing capacity for regionally important restoration projects.
"The NOAA-Gulf of Maine habitat restoration partnership is serving as the catalyst to assist the council in reaching its goal of restoring 3,000 acres of coastal and marine habitat by 2006," said Thomas Skinner, director of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and chair of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment. "The success of the partnership will be realized for many years to come as we continue to improve coastal and marine habitat from a gulf-wide perspective."
To learn more about the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, please visit http://gulfofmaine.org/. Contact Jon Kachmar at (207) 287-1913 or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about the Council. Or visit http://gulfofmaine.org/opportunities to view the RFP for the 2003 GOMC/NOAA habitat restoration grants.
In fiscal year 2003, NOAA has awarded more than 618 grants totaling more than $303 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 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 http://www.noaa.gov. More information about NOAA’s CRP can be found at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/habitat/restoration.
of Maine Council on the Marine Environment