The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced more than $4.5 million in grants Wednesday for states and tribes to support endangered or threatened species recovery efforts. The agency is also opening a call for 2016 proposals under this program.
The NOAA Fisheries Species Recovery Grant Program’s 2015 funding supports five new projects and the continuation of 14 multi-year projects.
“All of these projects support one of NOAA Fisheries’ core missions, to conserve, recover, and protect marine resources for future generations,” said Eileen Sobeck, NOAA Fisheries administrator. “The agency values the conservation efforts of our partners and is pleased to support efforts to restore species vital to our nation’s economy, environment, and heritage.”
NOAA is funding Species Recovery Grant projects in every region of the country. Funded awards support management, research, and outreach efforts designed to bring vulnerable species to a point where Endangered Species Act protections are no longer necessary.
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This year’s awards include $817,302 for the five new grants to four states (New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, and Florida) and one federally recognized tribe (Penobscot Indian Nation).
Grants include:-- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: Sex Determination in Endangered Sturgeon: Using New Technology to Address Critical Uncertainties for Conservation and Recovery - $199,608 (2015 federal)
-- Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources: Cooperative Conservation and Long-Term Management of False Killer Whales and Other Endangered Cetaceans in Hawaii - $340,800 (2015 federal)
-- Maryland Department of Natural Resources: Reproductive Habitat of Chesapeake Bay Atlantic Sturgeon in the Nanticoke Estuary - $145,760 (2015 federal)
-- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish and Wildlife: New Jersey Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeon Research and Management - $61,134 (2015 federal).
Continuing grants include:Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: Florida Marine Turtle Research and Conservation - $269,106 (third year).
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: Promoting Recovery and Addressing New Smalltooth Sawfish Management Needs - $201,895 (third year)
-- Penobscot Indian Nation: Atlantic Salmon Management and Outreach Project - $70,000 (2015 federal)The $3.7 million remaining funds support 12 continuing state projects and two continuing tribal projects. Details for each award may be found at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/conservation/states/funded.htm
Alaska Department of Fish and Game: Assessing alternatives for Steller sea lion decline - $330,326 (3rd year)
Georgia Department of Natural Resources: Quantifying Annual Recruitment and Nursery Habitats of Atlantic Sturgeon - $196,907 (2nd year)
Georgia and South Carolina Departments of Natural Resources: Loggerhead turtle population assessment and implementation of high priority recovery actions - $580,364 (3rd year)
Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources: Assessing marine turtle aggregations and foraging habitats in coastal waters - $64,455 (3rd year)
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources: Distribution of adult Atlantic sturgeon in US Territorial waters off South Carolina and Georgia - $257,940 (3rd year)
Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources: Cooperative Conservation and Long-term Management of Hawaiian Monk Seals and Sea Turtles and their Habitat - $476,261 (3rd year)
Maryland Department of Marine Resources & Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries: Assessment of Critical Habitats for Recovering the Chesapeake Bay Atlantic Sturgeon Distinct Population Segment - $585,095 (3rd year)
Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife: Eulachon studies to guide implementation of a monitoring program to track coastwide status and trends in abundance and distribution - $212,673 (2nd year)
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: Derelict Fishing Net Reporting, Response and Retrieval Program in Puget Sound - $67,036 (2nd year)
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: Protection, Recovery and Monitoring of Endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales - $261,066 (3rd year)
Wiyot Tribe: Filling critical data gaps regarding green sturgeon status in the Eel River of northern California by determining population origin, spawning and summer habitat use - $90,621 (3rd year)
Makah Tribe: Monitoring the health, distribution and vital rates of culturally important marine mammals, including Steller sea lions and gray whales - $123,972 (3rd year)
The 2016 call for proposals is now open, with a special focus on recovering NOAA Fisheries’Species in the Spotlight. Tribal applications are due by Sept. 29. State applications are due by Oct. 8.
Details for each award may be found athttp://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/conservation/tribes.htm.