NFWF and NOAA announce $144 million in grants for coastal infrastructure, enhancing community resilience and wildlife habitats.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have unveiled a substantial $144 million grant program aimed at bolstering natural infrastructure projects along U.S. coastal regions.
These new grants are set to empower over 109 projects, enhancing the resilience of coastal communities and enriching fish and wildlife habitats. This investment builds upon the previous allocation of $44.7 million from the Inflation Reduction Act, which supported 27 projects.
Coastal regions in the U.S. are increasingly facing the brunt of climate change, with extreme weather events and rising sea levels posing significant threats. The funded projects range from pier reconstruction to the use of permeable pavement, all designed to shield communities from the impacts of intense storms and coastal erosion. Additionally, natural infrastructure ventures, such as marine sanctuaries and wetland restoration, will play a crucial role in sustaining both human and marine life.
These grants represent a collaborative effort, involving partners like the Department of Defense, Shell USA, TransRe, SalesForce, and Oxy, alongside NFWF and NOAA.
A diverse array of projects will benefit from this funding. For instance, a project in Kake, Alaska, is set to focus on nature-based solutions such as kelp and seaweed mariculture, shellfish garden creation, and seeding for herring and shellfish. These initiatives aim not only to preserve marine species but also to provide sustainable food sources and mitigate coastal hazards for the local community.
The funding approach adopted by the NCRF is comprehensive, supporting projects from their inception through planning, design, and full implementation.
Rick Spinrad, the administrator for NOAA, shared his pride in collaborating with NFWF and other partners. He emphasized the role of this funding, supported by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in enhancing community resilience against climate change, addressing coastal hazards, and improving ecosystems vital for wildlife, communities, and the coastal economy.
As the U.S. grapples with the realities of climate change, these grants mark a significant step towards safeguarding its coastal regions, their communities, and the diverse wildlife they support.
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