NOAA 2005-R917
Contact: Aja Sea-Kung
NOAA News Releases 2005
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Funds Will Be Used to Restore Marine Habitat and Protect Aquatic Species

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today awarded The Nature Conservancy a grant of $700,000 to implement habitat restoration projects throughout the country. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Conservancy is partnering with the NOAA Restoration Center to implement innovative restoration projects benefiting marine, estuarine, and riparian habitats on both US coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii. 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, create shellfish spawning sanctuaries, and re-establish water flows to estuaries.

“The continued partnership between NOAA and TNC demonstrates both organizations' commitment to restoring fisheries habitat,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “These habitat restoration efforts support NOAA’s goal of ecosystem-based management, and promote local stewardship of the habitats that sustain our nation’s fisheries resources.”

Since 2001, NOAA grants to The Nature Conservancy have forged 35 on-the-ground restoration projects in 14 coastal states in the U.S. Current funded projects include restoring reef habitat for eastern oysters in North Carolina and Mississippi, rebuilding sea urchin populations in the Florida Keys and controlling an invasive plant in marshlands in Oregon. Eleven projects have received preliminary approval for funding through the Partnership in 2005 to restore migratory fish habitat in Connecticut, clams and eastern oysters along Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, staghorn coral in the Florida Keys, and native Olympia oysters in Oregon. In working with NOAA and local partners, the Conservancy serves as necessary bridge, helping to build restoration expertise and knowledge around the nation.

“America’s coastal waters are a critical resource for millions of marine plants and animals as well as for the millions of Americans who live and work along our coasts,” said Steve McCormick, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “NOAA’s support of The Nature Conservancy’s restoration projects is essential as we work to conserve and protect our waters for the people, plants, and animals that depend on them.”

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. These studies assist in predicting environmental change, managing ocean resources, protecting life and property, and providing 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 over the past 34 years.

The NOAA Restoration Center Community-based Restoration Program (CRP) is a financial and technical assistance program that promotes strong partnerships at the national, regional, and local level to restore fisheries habitat. NOAA CRP works with organizations and government to support locally-driven habitat restoration projects in marine, estuarine, and riparian areas. NOAA CRP funds on-the-ground habitat restoration projects that (1) offer educational and social benefits for citizens and their communities, and (2) provide long-term ecological benefits for fishery resources. Since 1996, more than 900 projects in 26 states have been implemented using NOAA funding and leveraged funding from national and regional habitat restoration partners.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and to providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading international, nonprofit organization the preserves the plants, animals and natural communities representing the diversity of life on Earth by protection the lands and waters they need to survive. To date, the Conservancy and its nearly one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 15 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 102 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific.

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Community-based Restoration Program:

The Nature Conservancy: