Over $9.3 Million Awarded for Coral Reef Projects and Studies
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program has awarded over $9.3 million in grants and cooperative agreements this year to support conservation projects and scientific studies that benefit coral reef ecosystem management in seven U.S. states and territories, and internationally in the Caribbean, Mesoamerica, the South Pacific, and Micronesia. Awards were also provided for meetings and conferences focused on coral reef conservation.
Healthy coral reefs provide billions of dollars in food, jobs, recreational opportunities, coastal protection, and other important goods and services to people around the world. A recent U.S. Geological Survey study determined that U.S. coral reefs annually provide flood protection to over 18,000 Americans and $1.8 billion worth of coastal infrastructure. The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program is leading efforts to study and conserve these precious resources for current and future generations.
All of the awarded projects support research to address impacts from the three primary threats to coral reefs: global climate change, land-based sources of pollution, and unsustainable fishing practices. Additionally, the awards fund direct intervention strategies, such as coral reef restoration.
The funds were awarded to state and territorial resource management agencies, non-governmental organizations, community groups, and academic partners. A limited number of international projects focused in Micronesia, Mesoamerica, and the wider Caribbean region were also supported. These awards also build upon long-term partnerships with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and The Nature Conservancy to cooperatively fund priority coral conservation projects.
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program was established in 2000 by the Coral Reef Conservation Act. Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the program is part of NOAA's Office for Coastal Management.