In 2017, NOAA has provided a total of over $100,000 across four Fish Habitat Partnerships to support prioritization, monitoring, and data analysis projects. These projects support the goals of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and align with NOAA’s efforts to protect, restore, and promote stewardship of coastal and marine habitat to support our nation’s fisheries for future generations.
In the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., funding in the amount of $16,000 will support the second phase of a project led by the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership to spatially prioritize fish habitat protection and restoration sites through GIS mapping and analysis. This second phase will expand upon spatial prioritization work previously conducted for the southeast region of the U.S. from North Carolina to Florida. In the Southeast, $12,000 in funding will support the second phase of a project led by the Southeast Aquatic Resources partnership to identify coastal priorities. A follow-up workshop with participation from state, Federal, interested non-governmental organizations will be held to identify priority watersheds and coastal fish habitat protection and restoration areas through a synthesis of existing efforts and feedback from state agency partners from Virginia to Texas.
On the west coast, funding will support projects led by the Pacific Marine and Estuarine Partnership and the California Fish Passage Forum. The Pacific Marine and Estuarine Partnership funding, in the amount of $55,000, will map estuarine habitats and loss along the Oregon Coast and fill critical eelgrass habitat data gaps along the West Coast. With funding in the amount of $20,000, the California Fish Passage Forum will evaluate the effects of small dam removal on fish passage and stream habitat for endangered southern steelhead in several drainages in Orange, Los Angeles, and Ventura Counties. The effort is a partnership with the California Conservation Corps Veterans Corps, NOAA, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
In Alaska, funding in the amount of $15,000 will be used to conduct the second phase of the Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership’s estuary prioritization work to identify important watersheds and estuaries in southeast Alaska for restoration. Existing baseline data and mapping will be compiled into a tool that can be used by local communities to assess their coastal fish habitat and create guidance to develop restoration plans and minimize future impacts
Since 2006, NOAA has supported the goals of the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) by using existing funding and capacity to support national and partnership activities that match NOAA’s mission. NOAA actively engages in the implementation of Fish Habitat Partnerships that address coastal and marine issues. More on NOAA’s involvement in the National Fish Habitat Partnership can be found at http://www.habitat.noaa.gov/protection/nfhap/index.html.