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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

Dr. Ruth Gates in her lab at the University of Hawaii

$500K Available for Innovative Coral Restoration Projects in Honor of Dr. Ruth Gates

This is the first funding opportunity under NOAA’s new Ruth Gates Coral Restoration Innovation Grants competition.

As part of our efforts to restore resilient coral ecosystems, NOAA is announcing the availability of approximately $500,000 in Ruth Gates Coral Restoration Innovation Grants funding for coral restoration awards in 2020. The competition is in direct response to the recently completed National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study on Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral Reefs.

Globally, coral reefs are rapidly declining in health. While some coral restoration efforts have been successful at a local level, the development of innovative interventions are needed to improve the efficiency and long-term effectiveness of coral restoration activities in order to restore resilient, genetically diverse, and reproductively viable coral populations at a larger scale.

This competition is a tribute to the work and life of Dr. Ruth Gates, Director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology and a renowned coral researcher, and aims to build on her efforts to address the decline in coral reefs through innovative science and research.