Today, NOAA announced $467,046 in funding for three new projects under the Habitat Blueprint. The Habitat Blueprint provides a framework for NOAA to think and act strategically—across programs and with partner organizations—to address the growing challenge of coastal and marine habitat loss and degradation.
The awards to academic and non-profit groups will support projects in three Habitat Focus Areas:
- Biscayne Bay, Florida: Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper is working to reduce the frequency, duration and spatial coverage of algal blooms and to educate the public and decision makers about Biscayne Bay’s importance and vulnerability ($54,488).
- Kachemak Bay, AK: The University of Alaska, Anchorage is promoting native bivalve population recovery efforts that are consistent with the long-term sustainability of a healthy and functional ecosystem, factoring in climate resiliency ($185,909).
- Puerto Rico’s Northeast Reserves and Culebra Island: Protectores de Cuencas (Protectors of Watersheds) is working to reduce sediment and nutrient inputs to coral reef and seagrass-bearing areas, to support the expansion of ongoing coral farming and out-planting efforts in Culebra and Fajardo, and to reduce recreational impacts to coastal ecosystems in Culebra and Fajardo ($226,649).
These Habitat Focus Areas increase the effectiveness of NOAA’s habitat conservation science and management efforts by identifying places where NOAA can meet priority habitat conservation objectives on a watershed scale. With this funding, the NOAA Office of Habitat Conservation is now providing funding to eight Habitat Focus Areas throughout the country.
All of these projects support the agency’s core missions of conserving coastal and marine habitats to support sustainable fisheries and coastal community resilience. Awards were selected through a competitive process involving rigorous technical review.