Coral Reef Conservation Financial Assistance

The Coral Reef Conservation Program provides financial awards (grants and cooperative agreements) to support conservation projects and scientific studies that benefit coral reef management across seven U.S. states and territories, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

Each year, we strive to award at least $8 million in grants and cooperative agreements, which are matched by nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, regional fishery management councils, commercial entities, community groups, and state and territorial natural resource management agencies. All projects focus on the reduction of primary threats to coral reefs—global climate change, land-based sources of pollution, and unsustainable fishing practices— and coral reef restoration as outlined in the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s Strategic Plan. Funded projects also focus on priority coral reef regions and watersheds.

Program Highlight

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease in Florida and the Caribbean
Scientists document stony coral tissue loss disease as it infects nearly two dozen stony coral species on the Florida Reef Tract. Photo: Nick Zachar/NOAA

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease in Florida and the Caribbean

The Florida Reef Tract has been experiencing an outbreak of a coral disease termed Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. First reported off the coast of Miami-Dade County in 2014, this outbreak now spans from the northern extent of the reef tract in Martin County down to Sand Key in the Lower Keys. The disease impacts roughly half of Florida’s 45 stony corals, including key reef building species, five species listed pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, and many charismatic coral species. The disease has high species-specific prevalence rates and high whole-colony mortality rates, leading to significant declines of susceptible species on impacted reefs. Similar outbreak signs have been reported elsewhere in the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Mexico, St. Maarten, the US Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic.

In 2019, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program awarded over $1 million through NOAA’s Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration Grants to treat affected areas and prevent Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease from spreading. Please check the NOAA Fisheries News Page for information on the awards. More information about the disease and how citizens can help is found on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary’s Coral Disease Outbreak page at