Florida coral reef restoration projects receive NOAA funding
NOAA is recommending nearly $8.3 million in funding to continue 23 ongoing habitat restoration projects through its
Community-based Restoration Program. These projects will restore habitat for coastal and marine species in 13 states and territories and provide benefits for communities and the environment. The projects will also support coastal communities that rely on healthy habitats for benefits like clean drinking water, flood and storm protection, and industries like boating, fishing, and tourism. Among these are three Florida-based coral reef conservation projects:
Florida Aquarium will propagate, grow, and plant 4,250 threatened elkhorn corals to help restore 1,785 square meters of coral habitat at Looe Key and Horseshoe Reefs, two of the seven reefs outlined in the innovative Mission: Iconic Reefs. Diadema urchins will also be spawned and raised at a land-based facility. ($289,000) Also funded by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium will restore degraded coral reef habitat and promote the recovery of threatened and endangered coral species in the Florida Keys. The project will grow 10,000 corals across five different species each year, and outplant 30,000 corals by securing them to the reef using best management practices for coral restoration. ($505,000) Also funded by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.
Coral Restoration Foundation will outplant more than 84,000 nursery-grown corals to restore degraded coral reef habitat and promote the recovery of threatened and endangered coral species. The corals will come from existing nurseries and will be secured to the reef using best management practices for coral restoration. ($300,000) Also funded by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.
The NOAA Restoration Center within the Office of Habitat Conservation provides funding and technical support to partners across the country to develop high-quality habitat restoration projects. Since 1996, NOAA's Community-based Restoration Program has partnered with more than 2,600 organizations to take on more than 2,200 projects. These efforts have restored more than 93,000 acres of habitat and opened up more than 4,300 miles of streams and rivers to fish migration.