NOAA offers $10 million for fisheries, $9 million for coastal habitat restoration

NATIONWIDE — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) separately announced two funding programs to promote sustainable fisheries and coastal habitats.

NOAA stated on July 20 it would recommend $9 million in funding for 17 coastal habitat restoration projects nationwide, including three in California.

Another $10 million would be made available for projects focusing on sustainable fisheries and coastal fishing, NOAA announced on July 22.

The coastal habitat restoration projects would, according to NOAA, “restore at least 1,400 acres of habitat, and up to 80 stream miles for fish passage.”

“Recommended projects will use a habitat-based approach to increase fish production and foster species recovery,” NOAA staff said in a published statement. “Successful proposals will help rebuild fish stocks, help recover threatened and endangered species, or benefit other coastal and marine species (such as forage fish).”

Three projects in California were granted about $1 million of the $9 million recommended.

One project, the Pennington Creek Steelhead Barrier Removal, would restore fish passage for 2 miles of stream, with year-round flow, in the south-central California coast region, according to NOAA. The funding ($239,327) would benefit steelhead trout, currently listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Other California projects include a floodplain habitat restoration in the Central Valley to benefit juvenile salmon ($587,399 in funding) and sediment reduction along the Lost Coast benefitting Coho Salmon ($304,752 in funding).

Meanwhile NOAA Fisheries announced $10 million would become available to fund projects benefiting sustainable fisheries and coastal fishing communities. The money would become available in 2017.

Projects must focus on at least one of the following: marine aquaculture; fishery data collection; techniques for reducing by-catch and other adverse impacts; adapting to climate change and other long term ecosystem change; sustainable seafood promotion, development, and marketing; socio-economic fisheries research; or, advancing fisheries science in U.S. territories, including research into enhancing annual catch limits and ecosystem-based fishery management.

Pre-proposals are due Sept. 20. Visit grants.gov for eligibility and application requirements.

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