Contact: Aja Sae-Kung

NOAA News Releases 2004
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded $916,000 to the Wildlife Conservation Society to fund hands-on habitat restoration activities and environmental education along the lower Bronx River in New York City. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The project involves local community members in the acquisition and restoration of land that benefits fishery resources along the lower Bronx River. Funding in previous years has created salt marshes and restored the adjacent riverside at an abandoned cement factory site. The partnership has also formed the Bronx River Conservation Crew, a team of local Bronx youth who act as stewards of the lower Bronx River through intertidal debris removal, native plant nursery operation, invasive species removal, and planting of intertidal and riparian areas. Future funding will focus on the possibility of restoring anadromous fish access to the Bronx River, currently impeded by a series of dams. The funding supplements a cooperative agreement with NOAA and the WCS in association with the Bronx Zoo and the NOAA Restoration Center.

"I am very pleased to announce this funding for vital Bronx River restoration," said Congressman José E. Serrano (D-NY), the ranking Democrat on the appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Commerce and NOAA. "The River and its adjacent parks and marshlands are priceless resources for our urban Bronx community. I will continue to fight to ensure that the government does what is necessary to protect, clean, and restore the River and its parks so that Bronx families will be able to enjoy them long into the future. A healthy river will make for a healthier Bronx."

“This NOAA grant will allow community members to be directly involved in the protection and restoration of their valuable local fishery habitat,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA and the Bush Administration are working to improve our marine resources through local and regional initiatives like those of the Wildlife Conservation Society.”

The NOAA Restoration Center uses a community-based restoration program to work with organizations and governments to support locally driven habitat restoration projects in marine, estuarine and riparian areas. NOAA funds on-the-ground habitat restoration projects that offer educational and social benefits for citizens and their communities and provide long-term ecological benefits for fishery resources. Since 1986, over 800 projects in 26 states have been implemented using NOAA funding and leveraged funding from national and regional habitat restoration partners. For more information on the Community Restoration Program, please visit:

Each year NOAA 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 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.

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:

Community Restoration Program, please visit: