Funded Projects

Each year, NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) awards over $8 million in grants and cooperative agreements to U.S. states, territories, and commonwealths, and to partners across the Caribbean and Pacific regions. Funds support conservation projects and scientific studies that benefit coral reef management.

A complete list of funded projects for previous years (2009-2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023) is available to download (keyword search at by Award Number for more information).

2024 competitions

Ruth D. Gates Local and National Capacity Building
(previously Domestic Capacity Building)
  • Goal: This funding builds capacity for reef management by strengthening the ability of local nongovernmental organizations and/or other interested stakeholder groups to participate in future coral reef stewardship partnerships. Projects funded through this competition should address either local coral community group support or national coral conservation support.
  • Total funding: $1,000,000
  • Eligible uses: Organizing local stakeholder groups into a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; obtaining or providing federal grants training; support for community-based conservation areas; and development of educational tools.
  • Eligible Applicants: U.S. coral reef jurisdictions or any other territory or possession of the United States or separate sovereign in free association with the United States that contains a coral reef ecosystem. E.g., the Federated States of Micronesia
  • Timeframe: 1-3 year awards

Example Projects

2024 - Open through Feb 15, 2024. Check out our other funding opportunities.

Protectores de Cuencas ($175,000) will evaluate 27 MPAs across Puerto Rico and work with local partners to implement and update MPA plans.

Conservation International Foundation ($258,935) will explore sustainable finance approaches to fund stewardship of marine resources and produce analyses and conduct legal research of Hawai‘i-specific issues related to the sustainable finance and funding strategies.

Ruth D. Gates Restoration Innovation Grants
(previously Ruth Gates Coral Restoration and Innovation)
  • Goal: This funding promotes long-term persistence of corals by supporting the science needed to incorporate resilient, genetically diverse, and reproductively viable coral populations into restoration activities, increase restoration scalability and coral survivorship, and improve restoration methods.
  • Total funding: $1,000,000
  • Eligible uses: Projects should 1) advance the research and development of coral interventions to improve resilience to environmental stressors or 2) research innovations to improve coral restoration practices, survivorship of post larval settlers, and growth/survival of mid-sized corals.
  • Eligible Applicants: Nongovernmental organizations or research institutions that have demonstrated expertise in coral reef conservation or restoration and/or scientific research; U.S. states, territories, or local governments with authority over coral reefs; and Native entities with interests in a coral reef ecosystem.
  • Timeframe: 1-3 year awards
    2024 - Applications accepted through February 15, 2024.

Example Projects

For more information, visit Current and Past Ruth D. Gates Coral Restoration Innovation Grant page.

University of Alabama ($614,970) is collecting algal fluorescence data to determine the bleaching response in elkhorn and staghorn coral, which are heavily used in reef restoration projects throughout the Florida Keys and the Caribbean. The data will be used to optimize a model for accurately predicting coral thermal tolerance. For more information:

Nova Southeastern University ($728,581) is determining the optimal light regime to maximize the survival and growth of young corals. This will enable them to rapidly and effectively upscale production of genetically-diverse corals for restoration.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Coral Reef Stewardship Fund (previously, NFWF Coral Reef Conservation Fund)
  • Goal: The Coral Reef Stewardship Fund provides funding to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through a public-private partnership. NFWF, in turn, funds coral conservation and management projects within the US coral reef jurisdictions that are in alignment with the National Resilience Strategy and applicable coral reef action plans.
  • Total funding: $1,000,000
  • Eligible uses: NFWF’s Coral Reef Stewardship Fund supports projects that improve the health of coral reef systems through the reduction of land-based sources of pollution, advancement of coral reef fisheries management, scaling-up of coral restoration, and increase of reef management capacity. Proposals should address specific jurisdictional priorities, which can be found here.
  • Eligible Applicants: Non-profit organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Tribal governments and organizations, and educational institutions, including parties within and outside of the United States.
  • Timeframe: 6-months to 3-years.

Example Projects

For more information, visit the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Coral Reefs page.

Coral Restoration Foundation, Inc. ($103,200) will provide coral restoration education to practitioners in American Samoa. Project will provide theoretical and practical skills in restoration techniques and infrastructure needs to start and sustain programs including planning, fundraising, and outreach.

Association of Zoos and Aquarium ($75,000) will train aquarium managers interested in participating in the coral rescue program on stony coral tissue loss disease and coral restoration practices. Project will work to grow the land-based nursery management capacity of the coral conservation community within and outside of the U.S.

The University of Guam ($124,800) will assess the vulnerability and status of surgeonfishes and parrotfishes on Guam. Project will combine life-history data, fishery-dependent data, and fishery-independent surveys to support local managers in the ongoing development of fishery management plans.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution ($194,500) will optimize the acoustic environment as sound like a healthy coral reef to attract coral larvae settlement as a restoration tool. Project will conduct lab and field tests to replicate a successful pilot in the Caribbean on Pacific coral species.

Community Projects

NOAA CRCP also administers Congressionally-directed projects pertaining to coral reefs. These projects can vary dramatically, depending upon the stipulations placed upon it by Congress.

Example Projects

Nova Southeastern University ($3,841,000) will revitalize the National Coral Reef Institute and conduct Atlantic- and Caribbean-wide research on stony coral tissue loss disease.

Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources ($900,000) will remove and transplant corals from human-made marine infrastructure and continue development of a land-based coral restoration nursery in West Hawaiʻi.

Coral World Ocean and Reef Initiative, Inc. ($900,000) will build a coral propagation ‘ark’ to retain and increase coral genetic diversity in the US Virgin Islands.

Past Competitions

State and Territory Cooperative Agreements

NOAA enters into two-year cooperative agreements with each of the seven U.S. coral reef states and territories. A cooperative agreement creates a partnership between the federal government and the recipient, allowing for collaboration and participation of NOAA staff in project development, planning, and implementation.

  • Goal: This funding supports coral reef management and conservation projects that seek to improve the condition of coral reef ecosystem resources located in the seven U.S. states and territories. Project topics vary annually and across jurisdictions, but often include capacity building, watershed management, and coral restoration.
  • Total Funding: $4-5 million (divided among seven jurisdictions)
  • Eligible Applicants: Select natural resource management agencies of the American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Florida, Guam, Hawai’i, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands governments.
Fishery Management Council Coral Reef Cooperative Agreements

Under the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, the CRCP has supported three year agreements with four Fisheries Management Councils. This competition was to improve sustainable management of shallow coral fisheries and ecosystems through improved scientific information, to improve coordination of project implementation with federal, state, territory or commonwealth management authorities and various coral reef user groups, and to advance incorporation of previously collected data into fishery management.

Example Projects

Caribbean Fishery Management Council ($1,289,000) is assessing the effectiveness of an acoustic tool to monitor offshore fish spawning aggregations sites for species of groupers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council ($450,542) is identifying coral reef areas that may benefit from additional conservation and management actions, which includes essential fish habitat data to improve delineation and management of coral reef ecosystems. This information is being incorporated into geospatial and web-based outreach materials to support the Council process and stakeholder engagement.

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council ($1,237,851) is adjusting boundaries for Spiny Lobster Closed Areas; reviewing current essential fish habitat designations for mesophotic coral expanding the current National Coral Reef Monitoring Program to deeper mesophotic coral reef habitats; and working with Reef Environmental Education Foundation to develop a citizen science program: SMILE (Size Matters: Innovative Length Estimate) to help monitor key coral reef fisheries species.

Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council ($773,464) is continuing to support the analysis of previously coral reef fish samples to better understand the life history of key species, and is supporting ecosystem-based fisheries management through the development of coral reef fisheries indicators for the Mariana Archipelago.


Coral reef ecosystems are globally connected and what occurs elsewhere may impact US coral reefs. Therefore, NOAA CRCP provided funds to entities outside of the United States to build international capacity for the effective ecosystem-based management of coral reef ecosystems. Though entities operating in any international location could apply, focal regions included the Caribbean, Micronesia, and Southeast Asia.

Example Projects

  • Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute ($635,408) is implementing regional peer-to-peer learning exchanges and an annual small grants program to address capacity needs in support of effective MPA implementation by coral reef managers in the Wider Caribbean region.
  • Conservation International Foundation ($198,514) is conserving highly diverse coral reefs in Indonesia, through the creation of 20 Locally Marine Managed Areas.
  • Micronesia Conservation Trust ($600,000) is building regional capacity to use biophysical and socioeconomic data and evaluation protocols to collect, analyze, and translate coral reef and socioeconomic monitoring results throughout Micronesia.

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Grant Program

U.S. Jurisdictional Award Products

This page highlights some of the domestic products produced through the Coral Program's various financial assistance awards.

Click on the map or the following buttons to navigate to the regional grant pages:

CNMI Guam American Samoa Hawaii Florida Puerto Rico USVI