On August 9, 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce and NOAA announced the availability of $20 million to help state and territory coastal management programs restore estuaries and make them more resilient.
Another $12 million will go to national estuarine research reserves to support projects that increase climate adaptation and coastal community resilience to natural hazards and extreme weather.
These investments, which are available under the Inflation Reduction Act and are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda, will build upon the work of the nation’s 34 state coastal management programs and the 30 sites of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.
“Our ocean, coasts and Great Lakes are critical to our nation’s economy,” said NOAA Deputy Administrator Jainey Bavishi.
“Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, this funding helps us take a proactive approach toward keeping coastal areas, communities and economies — which are home to 40% of the U.S. population — resilient in the face of a changing climate,” she added.
The funding will help these two programs implement projects, initiatives and programs that increase climate resilience. Funds may be used for the following activities:
- Implementing state and reserve priority projects and initiatives that increase the resilience of coastal communities and align with the objectives of the Coastal Zone Management Act;
- Implementing priority, high-impact restoration and conservation projects in coastal ecosystems nationwide; and
- Increasing staffing capacity needed to support coastal community resilience, nature-based infrastructure and conservation projects, including planning, partnership building and project implementation.
Many of these investments will also complement and leverage other projects designed to build climate-ready coasts using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act funding.
Photo shows a view of the transition between hammock, marsh and the Tolomato River at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. (Image courtesy of NOAA / Savanna Mathis).