NOAA awards more than $9.3 million to advance coral reef conservation science and management

October 4, 2019
Corals thrive and support a wide diversity of reef fish in the sunny, shallow water at Baker reef in the Pacific Remote Islands.

NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program has awarded more than $9.3 million in grants to support coral conservation projects and scientific studies in seven U.S. states and territories, as well as international projects in the Caribbean, Mesoamerica, Micronesia and the South Pacific. 

Grant and cooperative agreement recipients are also providing more than $5.4 million in matching support — a total of $14.7 million for these critical projects.  

These projects and studies will help address the three primary threats to coral reefs: a changing global climate, land-based sources of pollution, and unsustainable fishing practices. The awards also fund activities to heal and restore damaged coral reefs.

“Healthy and diverse coral reefs support the nation’s blue economy through tourism and recreation, coastal flood and storm protection, and seafood production,” said Jennifer Koss, director of the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program. “We are delighted to continue funding research and activities that reduce local threats and advance conservation strategies so that we can sustain coral reef ecosystems for generations to come.”

Nearly half of the funds will support projects led by state and territorial resource management agencies, while other projects will be run by non-governmental organizations, community groups and academic partners. A limited number of international projects will also support work in Micronesia, southern Mexico and northern Central America, and the wider Caribbean region. The awards will build on long-term project partnerships with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundationoffsite link and The Nature Conservancyoffsite link

Among other projects, the studies focus on the loss of coral reef from disease, and how water quality and environmental change can affect reefs. All of the proposals submitted for funding underwent extensive and rigorous technical review. A full list of the awards and grantees is available onlineoffsite link

The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program's mission is to protect, conserve, and restore coral reef resources by maintaining healthy ecosystem function. 

Media contact:
Jerry Slaff, 240-533-0935