The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced more than $1.4 million in grants to support community-based efforts to improve the health and resilience of coral reefs. The 14 grants will generate more than $964,000 in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of nearly $2.4 million.
This year’s Coral Reef Conservation Fund grant recipients include:
SymbioSeas ($80,000) will assess vulnerability of coral reef habitat in the Main Hawaiian Islands to inform ongoing prioritization process for state managers. The project will assess changes in coral reef conditions to determine vulnerability to projected environmental stressors and develop resilience indicators that will help focus future investments.
Ridge to Reefs, Inc. ($85,000) will implement three green infrastructure projects across two priority watersheds; Vatia and Faga’alu in American Samoa. The project will train the watershed coordinator and local partners in restoration site selection, design and implementation to focus on reduction of nutrients from piggeries and septic systems and sediment associated with a quarry.
Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute ($80,000) will improve management capacity for disease detection, monitoring and communications across the Caribbean. The project will host a workshop for Caribbean Marine Protected Area managers to train on early response options to the disease that is spreading from Florida to across the Caribbean.
The grants were awarded through the Coral Reef Conservation Fund, a partnership between NFWF and NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), with additional support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The projects supported by the grants announced today will address three key strategies in coral reef conservation:
prioritization of coral reefs for targeted management effort based on stressors and resiliency;
reducing land-based runoff of sedimentation and nutrients; and
increasing capacity for coral reef management.
“The projects awarded today address some of the leading threats to nearshore coral reefs,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “We are proud to continue our partnership with NOAA to reduce these threats and help our nation’s reefs be more resilient to global stressors.”
“Now more than ever, we need to come together to make a real difference in conserving corals,” said Jennifer Koss, director of the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program. “Every year the quality of proposals increases and funding decisions are harder, which is a real testament to NOAA and NFWF building upon years of work in coral reef research and management.”
Since 2000, the Coral Reef Conservation Fund has awarded more than $25 million in federal and non-federal funds and leveraged more than $26 million in matching funds for more than 400 coral conservation projects in 21 U.S. states and territories and 52 countries.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $5.3 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
About the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Learn more at www.noaa.gov.
Source: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation