(Photo: Penobscot River Restoration Trust)

USA - Nearly $13 Million in NOAA Funding Recommended for Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration Projects

Funding for 31 new and continuing habitat restoration projects will support sustainable fisheries, protected species, and resilient ecosystems and communities across the nation.

To support our nation’s coastal and marine species, the NOAA Restoration Center is recommending nearly $13 million in funding for 31 new and continuing habitat restoration projects through our Community-based Restoration Program. These projects will restore habitat and ecosystems in 15 states and territories across the nation and build lasting benefits for communities and the environment.

The projects will support oysters, corals, and several fish species by reopening rivers to fish passage, reconnecting rivers to their floodplains, and reducing coastal runoff. They will also aid in the recovery of four NOAA Species in the Spotlightwhite abalone, Central California Coast coho salmon, Atlantic salmon, and the Southern Resident killer whale.

In addition to supporting coastal and marine species, habitat restoration benefits the coastal communities that rely on those habitats for clean drinking water, flood and storm protection, and industries like boating, fishing, and tourism

The NOAA Restoration Center, housed within the Office of Habitat Conservation, supports habitat restoration projects across the country where our nation’s fisheries and protected resources need it most. We provide technical and financial assistance to partners across the country to develop high-quality habitat restoration projects. Since 1996, our Community-based Restoration Program has partnered with more than 2,900 organizations to take on more than 2,180 projects. These efforts have restored more than 92,000 acres of habitat and opened up 4,126 miles of streams and rivers to fish migration.

In Fiscal Year 2020, we are recommending $4.7 million in funding for 16 new restoration projects, and $8.2 million in additional funding for 15 ongoing restoration projects. Recipients and their partners come from all sectors, including nonprofits; federal, state, and local agencies; tribes; private sector businesses; and academia.

Aerial photo of a shoreline and estuary
Among the projects recommended for funding is restoration work at the mouth of Lund's Gulch Creek in Washington. (Photo: Snohomish County)

Pacific Northwest and Alaska

New Projects

  • The Skagit River System Cooperative will restore habitat for Chinook salmon and steelhead troutin the Barnaby Reach portion of the Skagit River by reconnecting a seasonal floodplain and by replacing culverts to improve fish passage. This work will also reduce the risk of flooding in the community of South Rockport. ($509,210)
  • The Copper River Watershed Project will restore access to 45 miles of habitat for Chinook and coho salmon by replacing two narrow pipes with a new bridge. This fish passage restoration work will support the salmon fisheries that drive the economies of rural communities in Alaska’s Copper River region. ($151,240)
  • Snohomish County will reopen a channel at the mouth of Lund’s Gulch Creek by replacing nearly 128 feet of armored embankment and an undersized culvert with a multi-span railroad bridge. The project will provide rearing habitat for juvenile Chinook, coho, and chum salmon. ($300,000)
  • The Freshwater Trust will restore habitat for threatened coho salmon, spring and fall Chinook, and winter steelhead in four priority areas of the Upper Sandy River Basin. Partners will restore flow to side channels, reconnect floodplains, and increase habitat complexity with large woody debris. ($362,016)

Continued Efforts

  • American Rivers will remove a diversion dam and restore the river channel in Washington’s Middle Fork Nooksack River, aiding in the recovery of Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and coho salmon, as well as the Southern Resident killer whale, a NOAA Species in the Spotlight. ($105,799)
  • Rogue Basin Partnership will remove several barriers to fish migration across the Rogue River basin in Oregon, increasing the amount of habitat available for Southern Oregon/Northern California coho salmon, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. ($242,000)
  • The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Estuary and Salmon Restoration Programwill work to restore up to 2,350 acres of estuary habitat and 37 miles of river habitat in the Whidbey Basin of Puget Sound, aiding in the recovery of steelhead and Chinook salmon while balancing agricultural use of the land. ($450,555)
  • The Wild Salmon Center will implement restoration projects in three watersheds on the Oregon coast to promote the recovery of Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast coho salmon and Oregon Coast coho salmon, both listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. ($824,234)
  • Trout Unlimited will restore access to more than 15 miles of habitat for migratory fish by removing six barriers in Oregon’s Tillamook and Nestucca watersheds. Restoring natural stream processes and fish migration will benefit Oregon Coast coho salmon, Chinook and chum salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout, and several lamprey species. ($336,047)
White abalone
Recommended funding will support efforts to increase populations of white abalone in Southern California.

Pacific Southwest – California and Hawaii

New Projects

  • Trout Unlimited will restore priority habitat on former timberlands in Northern California to support Central California Coast coho salmon, a NOAA Species in the Spotlight, as well as Southern Oregon Northern California Coast coho salmon, California Coastal chinook salmon, and Northern California steelhead. Partners expect to complete the design or implementation of 24 projects across the region over a three-year period, with eight starting in the first year. ($441,763)
  • Caltrout will remove decommissioned infrastructure from a defunct wastewater management facility as part of an effort to restore habitat for Southern Oregon Northern California Coast coho salmon, California Coastal chinook salmon, and Northern California steelhead in the Mad River. The project will also restore estuarine and off-channel habitat, two types of habitat that are severely limited in the river. ($490,167)
  • The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation will work to restore rocky reef habitats in Southern California by increasing populations of white abalone, a NOAA Species in the Spotlight. Partners will raise captive juvenile white abalone and then plant them in appropriate habitats off the coast of Los Angeles County. ($112,058)
  • River Partners will remove two human-made obstructions that are currently cutting off a side channel to the Sacramento River and preventing juvenile Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, and California Central Valley steelhead from accessing their habitat. ($56,868)

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