The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have announced forty-four grants totaling nearly $30 million in support of coastal resilience efforts in twenty-three states and U.S. territories.
Awarded through the National Coastal Resilience Fund, the grants will support efforts to restore or expand natural features such as coastal marshes and wetlands, dune and beach systems, oyster and coral reefs, mangroves, forests, coastal rivers, and barrier islands that help minimize the impacts of storms, rising sea levels, and other extreme events on nearby communities and habitats. Grants awarded in the latest funding round are expected to generate $60 million in matching contributions, for a total conservation impact of $90 million.
Launched in 2018 by NFWF and NOAA in partnership with Shell Oil and TransRe, NCRF funds on-the-ground projects designed to reduce communities' growing vulnerability to coastal storms, sea-level rise, flooding, erosion, wildfires, drought, and extreme weather. Grant recipients include Audubon California, which was awarded nearly $321,000 to develop a publicly informed and community-supported effort to restore and strengthen urban wetlands in Marin City; the Water Institute of the Gulf, which will receive $1.15 million to design a nature-based approach to ecosystem restoration and community adaptation in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, using dredged material from channel deepening; and the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, which was awarded more than $1.1 million to construct and monitor a fish-restoration project and restore fish passage along a designated evacuation route and transportation artery in Sedgwick, Maine.
"I'm excited that today we are able to increase the protection of our vulnerable coastal communities," said NFWF executive director and CEO Jeff Trandahl. "In its second year, the National Coastal Resilience Fund continues to pull together the public and private sectors to enhance coastal habitats and at the same time provide much needed buffering to coastal communities against extreme weather events."
For a complete list of 2019 grants, see the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation website.