The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with NOAA, announced $25.2 million in grants to help coastal communities affected by storms and wildfires in 2020 or 2021 increase their resilience to future natural disasters. The new grants will leverage $4.9 million in additional funding to generate a total conservation impact of $30.1 million.
Sixteen projects will help communities better withstand natural disasters and recover more quickly afterwards, all while improving habitat for fish and wildlife. Restoring and protecting natural systems will help protect coastal communities from the impacts of storms, floods, sea-level rise inundation, erosion and wildfires.
“Coastal communities around the country are feeling the effects of climate change in profound ways,” said Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., NOAA Administrator. “These grants are strategic investments designed to help communities become more resilient in the face of persistent change and will help build a Climate-Ready Nation.”
“The projects funded through this program showcase the interconnectedness of coastal habitats and human communities in the face of a changing climate,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “With this funding, natural systems will play a key part in bolstering these areas against future natural disasters, benefiting both people and wildlife.”
Congress granted the funding through the FY 2022 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. NFWF is leveraging these funds with additional support from the Bezos Earth Fund.
Projects selected are employing a number of different nature-based activities that support wildlife such as wetland habitat restoration, living shoreline construction, dam removal and wildfire fuels reduction. Communities across 10 states will benefit from this work, and, when fully implemented, these projects will also benefit over 60,000 acres of habitat.
This grant slate represents the second slate of Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund projects administered by NFWF in partnership with NOAA, the first having been awarded in 2020 in response to the storms and wildfires of 2018.
Grant projects will take place in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey and New York.