FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2007
Contacts: Ben Sherman, NOAA
John Butler, NFWF
NOAA and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Award $3.5 Million for Coral Reef Conservation
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program announced today the funding of 29 grants totaling more than $3.5 million through the jointly managed Coral Reef Conservation Fund (Coral Fund). The grants will go to conservation organizations and local governments in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea to help prevent further negative impacts to coral reefs by educating local communities and improving management effectiveness.
“Healthy coral reefs provide the United States and thousands of communities around the world with food, jobs, shoreline protection, recreation and income worth billions of dollars each year. However, many reefs are now seriously degraded,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce and NOAA administrator. “These grants will help communities from the Caribbean to Micronesia protect and restore valuable coral reefs and the economies that depend on them.”
Coral Fund projects build public-private partnerships, increase community awareness and provide solutions to localized threats to coral reefs and associated habitats. Special emphasis is placed on projects demonstrating a hands-on, measurable approach to reducing land-based pollution, improving the management of coral reef protected areas or installing mooring buoys to protect reefs from anchor damage.
The 29 grants were awarded to projects in 11 countries, two U.S. territories, and three U.S. freely associated states. The awards include $1.3 million in federal funds leveraged by an additional $2.2 million in matching contributions for a total of $3.5 million in on-the-ground projects. Additional funding partners include the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, targeting coral conservation in Hawaii.
“We’re pleased to support projects that address coral reef conservation across the globe for a seventh year,” said National Fish and Wildlife Foundation executive director Jeff Trandahl. “These grants are designed to identify and address the greatest threats to these very important and fragile marine habitats, and develop measurable conservation outcomes in order to track their performance. In addition, several projects will be supporting activities for the International Year of the Reef 2008 to raise awareness of the many threats facing coral reefs.”
The Coral Reef Conservation Fund was created to assist NOAA in implementing the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, and is managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in partnership with the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program. To date, the foundation has awarded more than $19 million in federal and non-federal matching funds for 194 coral conservation projects in 35 countries.
Each year, NOAA awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific, and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA’s goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 35 years.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by Congress in 1984 and dedicated to the conservation of fish, wildlife and plants, and the habitat on which they depend. The Foundation creates partnerships between the public and private sectors to strategically invest in conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. The Foundation has provided funding to over 9,500 projects, leveraging $400 million in federal dollars to more than $1.3 billion in total funding for on-the-ground conservation.
2007 Coral Fund grant recipients:
Strategic Communications Encouraging Coral Conservation, SeaWeb
Communicate Science of International Coral Meeting (ICRS), SeaWeb
Year of the Reef National Television Public Service Annoucements, UrbanArts Institute at Mass College of Art
Expand and Maintain a Reef Saving Mooring Buoy System, Broward County Environmental Protection Department
Reef Fish Protection Research in Dry Tortugas, FL,U.S. Geological Survey*
Online Outreach and Social Networking Tools for the International Year of the Reef, Care2*
International Year of the Reef 2008 Collaboration, Reef Check*
Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Imagery, Reef Fest, Race to the Reef, NFWF*
Developing Tools for Assessing the Health of Reef Corals, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Univ. of Hawaii
Cleaning Waikoko Stream Discharge to Hanalei Coral Reefs, University of Hawaii
Hawaii Coral Reef Conservation Through Community Involvement, Community Conservation Network
Testing Sustainable Marine Tourism Standards on Maui, Coral Reef Alliance
Assessing Biological Effectiveness of Palau's Marine Protected Areas, Palau International Coral Reef Center
Pride Campaigns for Coral Conservation in Yap and Chuuk, Rare
Pride Campaign for Coral Conservation in the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands, Rare*
Educating Fishermen on Benefits of Marine Protected Areas, Malaysia, World Wildlife Fund
Enhanced Coral Reef Conservation Management in Vanuatu, Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area (MPA)
Enforcement and Education Outreach program in Malaysia, Reef Guardian Sdn. Bhd.
Strengthening Enforcement in Verde Passage, Philippines, Conservation International Foundation
Enforcement Chain in the Eastern Tropical Seascape, Conservation International*
Bio-fuel for Reef Management in the Pacific, Community Conservation Network*
Coral Reef Conservation in Pacific Island Nations, Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited*
Guam Education and Outreach Campaign for International Year of the Reefs 2008, NMFS/PIRO/HCD – Guam Office*
Caribbean/ Mesoamerican Projects:
Bahamian Nassau Grouper Research and Public Education, Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation
Marine Conservation Training for Journalists in Belize, International Center for Journalists
Reducing Boat Wastewater Discharges onto Coral Reefs, Oceanic Resources Foundation
Economic Incentives for Caribbean and Pacific Marine Protected Areas, Conservation International*
* Projects marked with an asterisk have been funded through the Special Topics in Coral Conservation partnership between NOAA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
On the Web:
NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program – http://www.coralreef.noaa.gov
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – http://www.nfwf.org/coralreef
Error processing SSI file