News Releases 2004
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The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today the funding of 26 grants – with a total value of more than $2.4 million – through the jointly managed Coral Reef Conservation Fund. The grants will go to conservation organizations and local governments in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to help restore damaged coral reef ecosystems and to prevent further negative impacts to reefs.
Coral Fund projects assist in building public-private partnerships, increasing community awareness and providing solutions to localized threats to coral reefs and associated habitats. Special emphasis was placed on projects demonstrating a hands-on, measurable approach to reducing land-based pollution or to improving the management effectiveness of coral reef protected areas. Of the 26 grant awards, 15 will take place in the Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean region, nine in the North Pacific, and one each in the South Pacific and Atlantic. One million dollars in federal funds will leverage an additional $1.4 million in matching contributions for these projects.
“Healthy coral reefs can provide food, jobs and income for millions of people around the world, and provide billions of dollars to U.S. communities through tourism and recreation. However, many reefs are now being seriously degraded by overuse, pollution and other factors. These projects will help local communities protect our valuable coral reefs and the economies that depend on them,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, under secretary of commerce and NOAA administrator.
“We’re pleased at the opportunity to support a diverse set of projects that address coral reef conservation on land, in the sea and across the globe for a third year,” said Foundation Executive Director John Berry. “Continued investments in innovative and new approaches based on sound science will help forge new tools to conserve coral reefs.”
The Coral Reef Conservation Fund was created to assist NOAA in implementing the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 and is managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in partnership with NOAA. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $9 million in federal and non-federal matching funds for 116 coral conservation projects in 20 countries, five U.S. trusts or territories, and four U.S. states.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is now accepting Coral Reef Conservation Fund proposals for 2005. A priority area for 2005 funding is the establishment of mooring buoys as part of the new “Anchors Away! Partnership Initiative,” a project of the White Water to Blue Water Initiative. Coral Reef Conservation Fund application directions and forms are available online at: http://www.nfwf.org/programs/coralreef.htm. For more information about the program, contact Leslie Ricketts via e-mail at email@example.com.
NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program is a partnership between the NOAA line offices working on coral reef issues, including the National Ocean Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service. The program supports effective management and sound science to preserve, sustain and restore valuable coral reef ecosystems.
Each year NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, awards approximately $900 million in grants 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’s goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 34 years.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by Congress in 1984 and dedicated to the conservation of fish, wildlife and plants, and the habitat on which they depend. The Foundation creates partnerships between the public and private sectors to strategically invest in conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. The Foundation distributed 687 grants in 2003 and has leveraged $261 million in federal funds since its establishment, for a total of more than $786 million in on-the-ground conservation.
2004 grant recipients: