Restoring coastal wetlands and removing outdated dams can improve coastal resilience, helping communities recover from and adapt to the impacts of extreme weather and climate change.
On August 15, 2023, NOAA Fisheries announced the availability of up to $240 million in funding for transformational habitat restoration and coastal resilience projects.
Through this funding opportunity, NOAA will support habitat restoration approaches that enhance the resilience of coastal and Great Lakes communities — including tribes and underserved communities — against climate hazards.
“Our habitat restoration efforts rebuild productive and sustainable fisheries, thereby promoting ecosystem and community resilience,” said Janet Coit, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries.
“These funding opportunities facilitate the recovery and conservation of threatened and endangered species, reconnect rivers to their historic floodplains, build living shorelines that protect coasts from erosion and sea level rise and reduce damage from flooding and storms,” she continued.
NOAA will seek proposals for projects to restore marine, estuarine, coastal or Great Lakes ecosystems. Degraded habitat is one of the largest obstacles to rebuilding sustainable fisheries and recovering threatened and endangered species.
This funding opportunity is aligned with actions outlined in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Ocean Climate Action Plan, and principles of the America the Beautiful initiative.
“The projects selected by NOAA for this exciting funding opportunity will have a transformative impact in coastal and tribal communities nationwide,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
“In turn, they will help sustain our nation’s fisheries, make significant strides in the recovery of threatened and endangered species, improve water quality and protect communities and ecosystems from the impacts of harmful climate change,” she added.
NOAA says it is committed to the goals of advancing equity and support for underserved communities and tribes through our work, including our efforts under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.
Through this competition, NOAA Fisheries will prioritize projects that demonstrate a broad base of stakeholder and community support and encourage applications from tribes or underserved communities. NOAA encourages projects developed with inclusive practices that incorporate meaningful strategies to engage a diverse range of community groups, including tribes and underserved communities.
NOAA’s Community-based Restoration Program provides technical and financial assistance to partners across the country to develop high-quality habitat restoration projects that support our nation’s fisheries. Since its start in 1996, the Program has helped implement more than 2,200 coastal habitat restoration projects — restoring more than 94,000 acres of habitat for fish and opening more than 4400 stream miles for fish passage.
NOAA’s habitat restoration experts also provide technical assistance and oversight to design and implement high-impact projects, and work closely in the field with our tribal, state, local and non-profit partners.
This funding is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. The announcement came the day before the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate investment in U.S. history.
Applications are due by November 17, 2023.
Photo (courtesy of NOAA Fisheries) shows construction to restore tidal marsh habitat in American Canyon, California, on September 29, 2009.