Funding will support state coastal zone management and National Estuarian Research Reserve System efforts to increase community resilience to climate change and extreme weather events, restore habitat and advancing conservation. 

Today, in Scarborough Maine, the Biden Administration announced $123 million for state and territory coastal management programs and national estuarine research reserves to improve coastal resilience via habitat restoration and conservation.

These funds, provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, build on the important work done by states and territories over the last 50 years to manage our nation’s coastal areas and conserve and conduct long-term research to better understand the function of our estuaries.

These funds include:

$59.8 million in competitively selected awards for state and territory coastal zone management programs to support 22 projects. Communities in IL, WI, FL, DE, MD, VA, NJ, RI, MA, ME, HI, SC, GA, OR, CA, and WA receive project funds ranging from $330,000 to $6 million. Work includes:

  • Planning for marsh migration and restoration, with improved public access to coastal resources in Maine.
  • Conservation of 1,900 acres of forest along a river basin to support climate resilience, improve water quality, and increase public access, in coordination with Tribes in Virginia.
  • Reconnecting a river with its historic floodplain habitat to benefit federally threatened species, while creating river-floodplain system that can manage a changing climate in California.
  • Dune restoration to buffer against storm surge and sea level rise, while supporting traditional Native Hawaiian cultural practices in Hawaii.
  • 18 other projects to restore and conserve coastal habitat and enhance coastal resilience.

$15 million in competitively selected awards for national estuarine research reserves for eight projects. Reserves in WI, TX, AL, ME, HI, SC, and WA will receive funding from $350,000 to $3.5 million. Work includes:

  • Community-informed plan to restore 10.9 acres of Ojibwe homelands on Lake Superior through restore sand dunes, pine forests, medicinal plants, and cultural relationships in Wisconsin
  • Restoration of 11.5 acres of oyster reef that provides shoreline and marsh habitat protection, and supports a broad diversity of species in Texas

Leveraging $48 million in non-competitive funding to the 34 state and territorial coastal management programs and 30 national estuarine research reserves.

“Thirty coastal restoration and conservation projects, in states from Maine to Hawaii, will help coastal communities better withstand impacts of climate change, improve coastal habitat, and expand public access to coastal resources. State and territory coastal zone management programs, with funding from NOAA, are working to ensure communities are prepared for the changes to their coastlines that will be happening faster than anytime in human history,” said Derek Brockbank, Executive Director of Coastal States Organization. “The coastal funding through from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act is historic, but it’s also a drop in the bucket of what is needed. Ultimately, nearly every community along a coastline will need significant investments to prepare for climate change; NOAA and Congress must support states to address these challenges by providing even greater and sustained funding.”

“The Commerce Department and entire Biden-Harris Administration are committed to ensuring coastal communities across the country have the resources they need to combat climate change,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Through this investment, made possible thanks to President Biden’s commitment to investing in America, we will be able to protect critical resources for coastal habitat restoration, create new jobs, and boost resilience to extreme weather events across our coastal communities.”

“These transformational projects will not only bolster community resilience, but also ensure that innovations are fairly and broadly accessible,” said Jainey K. Bavishi, assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator. “This significant increase in resources from NOAA will be essential in helping to build local infrastructure that is climate resilient, while providing essential benefits to businesses.”

As states and territories face increasing challenges from climate change, extreme weather events and other coastal hazards, investments in coastal resilience, like those announced today, are critically important. These projects to restore, conserve and enhance coastal ecosystems, will help to reduce impacts of flooding, erosion, and other hazards, helping to protect communities, homes, and businesses. They also have added benefits, such as protecting wildlife, increasing access to the outdoors and coastal resources, and improving water quality. While these investments are an exciting and important step towards building coastal resilience, long-term, sustainable support for coastal management throughout the United States remains more necessary than ever.

Visit NOAA’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act websites to learn about current and future funding opportunities.