NOAA's National Ocean Service has pledged $525,000 towards restoring the Guánica watershed in Puerto Rico, an initiative which will benefit the offshore reefs in that region.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) led the interagency conservation initiative by pledging $1 million from their Environmental Quality Incentives Program for best management practices in the watershed's headwaters and an additional $250,000 for competitive grants to local community organizations. The announcement came during the 22nd US Coral Reef Task Force Meeting, which the CRCP and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico co-hosted in San Juan from October 30 through November 5th. USDA challenged the other federal members of the US Coral Reef Task Force to contribute to the effort. NOAA was the only federal member able to affirmatively respond to the USDA's challenge during the meeting, pledging at least $425,000 in technical assistance and $100,000 for community grants this fiscal year.The NOAA effort is a partnership between the CRCP, the NOAA Restoration Center, the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, and Coastal Services Center and is an example of our commitment to ensuring our funding reflects the three threats and goals outlined in the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program Goals & Objectives 2010-2015.