The Nature Conservancy's stimulus-funded restoration projects prove that investing in nature works. These projects are creating jobs and restoring natural areas for people and nature. But so much more could be done.
A backlog of nearly $3 billion worth of restoration projects has been identified around the country. These additional projects could exponentially increase the number of jobs created while significantly improving the health of coastal ecosystems.
Our eight NOAA stimulus projects, and one partner-led project, will help restore and protect coral reefs, oyster reefs, seagrass beds, salt marshes, salmon streams, and floodplains – important habitats that provide essential benefits to people such as fisheries, clean water, and storm protection, as well as jobs related to tourism and recreational opportunities.
NOAA received more than 800 proposals from organizations across the country totaling more than $3 billion in requests for restoration funding. This overwhelming response demonstrates the profound need for increased restoration and stewardship of our oceans and coasts, far surpassing the $22 million in NOAA’s annual budget for coastal habitat restoration projects or the $167 million available in stimulus funding.
The stimulus funding is an exciting expansion of a nearly 10-year partnership between NOAA and the Conservancy to carry out restoration projects across the United States. Together, we have implemented 95 restoration projects across our coastal states that help protect coastal and marine habitat, restore species important to healthy ecosystems, remove invasive species, create shellfish nurseries and re-establish water flows to estuaries.
We are working with more than 70 partners including:
Alaska: Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Klawock Watershed Council, City of Klawock, Craig Community Association, Ducks Unlimited, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, Klawock Heenya Corporation, Keta Engineering, Alaska Trollers Association
Louisiana: Coastal Environments Inc., Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, NOAA, private landowners, town of Grand Isle, Grand Isle Levee District, Grand Isle Port Commission, Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Dept of Natural Resources, St. Bernard Parish Government, Jefferson Parish Government and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Washington: Skagit County Diking District No. 3, Skagit County Drainage and Irrigation District No. 17, Skagit County, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Salmon Recovery Funding Board , US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife/Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program, Skagit Watershed Council
Virginia: Virginia Institute of Marine Science, VA Marine Resource Commission, Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program
California: California Department of Fish and Game, University of California Davis, California Department of Water Resources, Shasta Valley Resource Conservation District, California Trout, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, California State Resources Agency, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Regional Water Quality Control Board
Alabama: Dauphin Island Sea Lab, University of South Alabama, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources State Lands – Coastal Division, Mobile County, Reef Innovations, Coastal Environments, Inc.
Florida/USVI: Coral Restoration Foundation, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, MOTE Marine Lab, Nova Southeastern University, Penn State University, University of the Virgin Islands, University of Miami, Broward Co. Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department Natural Resources Planning and Management Division, Biscayne National Park, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Dry Tortugas National Park, Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Hawaii: Malama Maunalua, University of Hawaii, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Polynesian Voyaging Soc., Hui Nalu, Malama Hawaii