NOAA, NFWF announce $30 million in grants to support coastal resilience efforts across nation
Second round of grants builds on success of new program
NOAA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, joined by partners Shell and TransRe, today announced $30 million in new grants to support coastal resilience projects in 23 states and U.S. territories.
The grants will 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. The 44 grants will generate $60 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $90 million.
Congress provided funding for Title IX of the National Oceans and Coastal Security Act, allowing grants to be awarded through a partnership between NFWF, NOAA, Shell and TransRe. These grants were then awarded through the National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF).
Freshwater diversion in part of the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. (NFWF)
“The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is an important partner in the fight against environmental threats to our way of life and our coastal communities in Louisiana,” said U.S. Sen. John Kennedy. “Fishing and shrimping aren’t just hobbies in Louisiana. They’re jobs that put quality seafood on dinner plates across this country. We have to protect those jobs and the families who live along our coast. Through strategic funding, such as the grants announced today, the foundation will help us plant thousands of trees, rebuild a shoreline and restore marshland. These will serve as natural defenses against devastating storms and flooding. With investments like this, Louisiana can keep fishing and keep producing energy for generations to come.”
“Rhode Island’s economy and culture depend on the health of our coastline. Coastal resiliency efforts are necessary to protect communities at risk from the growing threat of climate change,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “I’m glad to see the fruits of my oceans fund come to bear in my home state, and appreciate Senator Kennedy’s continued support for this effort.”
“The Blue Economy drives our nation’s prosperity and growth, and yet our coastal areas remain vulnerable to extreme events like hurricanes and flooding,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “This partnership will help harness the power of natural landscapes to protect our communities and provide long-term prosperity for the millions of Americans who live, work and play there.”
"CPRA is proud of its partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The importance of strong partnerships cannot be overstated, and today’s announcement showcases what can be accomplished when we join forces in the fight to protect our coast and our people,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. "These projects were strategically selected because of the benefits they provide to our coast and their consistency with Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan, and will further strengthen the resilience of coastal Louisiana.”
“I’m excited that today we are able to increase the protection of our vulnerable coastal communities,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “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.”
NFWF, in partnership with NOAA, launched the NCRF in 2018 to support on-the-ground projects that engage communities and reduce their vulnerability to growing risks from coastal storms, sea-level rise, flooding, erosion, and extreme weather through strengthening natural ecosystems that also benefit fish and wildlife.
The projects supported by the 44 grants announced today advance innovative nature-based approaches to improve the resilience of coastal communities. Recognizing the need for action, these projects build on significant coordination and planning that has already been done by many coastal communities and will offer significant benefits for nearby communities and for fish and wildlife.
"For two decades, Shell and NFWF have enjoyed a productive relationship that promotes environmental stewardship through innovative and sustainable solutions," said Rick Tallant, Vice President, Production, Deep Water Gulf of Mexico. "That tradition continues today as these grants will help address coastal needs across the country and especially in Louisiana and Texas, where many of our employees live and work."
“Coastal resilience is vital to the lives of millions of Americans,” said Mike Sapnar, TransRe’s President and CEO. “We applaud the progress already made by last year’s award recipients. This year’s projects are equally deserving, and we are pleased to support their important work.”