The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management announced more than $43 million in grants to improve the resilience of local communities and wildlife habitat in the face of increasingly severe and frequent natural disasters.
The 27 grants awarded will support projects in Alabama, California, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The grantees will also receive more than $54.7 million in funds from other sources to generate a total conservation impact of nearly $98 million.
CEO and executive director of NFWF, Jeff Trandahl said, “This new Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund supports conservation projects that strengthen natural systems at a scale that will help protect coastal communities in the states that were impacted by these disasters from the future impacts of storms, floods, wildfires and other natural hazards. These same projects also improve the ecological integrity and functionality of coastal ecosystems to support populations of fish and wildlife.”
Hurricanes Michael and Florence, Typhoon Yutu, and the coastal wildfires of 2018 caused more than $50 billion in damage and severely degraded a range of wildlife habitats. Congress provided funding under the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019 (P.L. 116-20), allowing grants to be awarded through a partnership between NFWF and NOAA. The grants are being announced just nine months after Congressional action through NFWF’s Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund.
The projects supported by these new grants are expected to protect or enhance more than 20 miles of shoreline and nearly 8,000 acres of wildlife habitat. These 27 projects will use nature-based infrastructure such as living shorelines, wetlands, dunes, coastal forests, floodplain habitat and coral reefs to achieve the dual benefits of improving human community resilience while also improving the ecological integrity of coastal ecosystems that enhance fish and wildlife habitats.
NFWF, in partnership with NOAA, launched the Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund in August 2019, two months after Congress passed the emergency supplemental appropriations bill that directed this money to help impacted communities recover more quickly and be more prepared for future events.
The new Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund builds on NFWF’s substantial efforts to bolster coastal resilience across the nation, including through response efforts following Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and more recently through NFWF’s National Coastal Resilience Fund.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 5,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of more than $6.1 billion.