NOAA has announced the Middle Peninsula, an area on Virginia’s Western Shore, as the eleventh NOAA Habitat Focus Area. The area provides important habitat for economically and ecologically important fish and wildlife, but it is experiencing significant effects from climate change. NOAA and partners will focus on restoring and conserving fish habitat, assessing the economic effects of restored and existing habitats, enhancing coastal resilience, building regional restoration and resilience capacity, and engaging communities in NOAA science. NOAA Habitat Focus Areas are places where NOAA brings partners and communities together to work on mutual habitat conservation goals. Contact: Andrew Larkin.
NOAA and partners recently began construction on a massive 1,200 acre marsh creation project in Louisiana’s Barataria Basin. The $151 million project will create habitat, reduce erosion, and protect communities. This will be NOAA’s largest wetland restoration project. The project was approved by the Deepwater Horizon Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group to restore habitats impacted by the 2010 oil spill. Contact: Mel Landry.
NOAA scientists and collaborators have found rare deep-sea sponge mounds between two of California’s most explored marine protected areas, within the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. This discovery and subsequent research is helping scientists understand more about the life cycles of deep-sea sponges and to determine which fish species are associated with them—work that is contributing to ecosystem-based fisheries management. Contact: Dani Weissman.
Partners working to restore healthy oyster reef habitat in the Chesapeake Bay recently released a report with compiled statistics through the end of 2021. To date, 1,220 acres have been restored out of the 1,770 acres targeted for restoration toward the Chesapeake Bay Program’s goal to restore oysters in 10 tributaries by 2025. Contact: Stephanie Westby.
The Commencement Bay Trustee Council released a draft restoration plan proposing to spend $1.1 million to implement two habitat restoration projects on Clear Creek, in Pierce County, Washington. If approved, the projects would restore fish passage and improve wetland habitat for salmon, steelhead, birds, and other fish and wildlife in the area. These resources have been impacted by a history of contamination in the Commencement Bay area. Contact: John R. Floberg.
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