Posted on December 4, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 29, 2023) – Today, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and NOAA announced $144 million in new grants to support natural infrastructure projects in 31 coastal states and U.S. territories. These grants will support design and implementation of projects to enhance the resilience of coastal communities and improve habitat for fish and wildlife across the U.S. The 109 grants announced today will generate more than $97 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $242 million.
The grants were awarded through the National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF), a partnership between NFWF, NOAA, the Department of Defense (DOD), Shell USA, TransRe, SalesForce and Oxy. The NCRF supports capacity building and larger-scale planning, design, and implementation projects to help improve community and coastal habitat resilience and reduce risks and devastating impacts of rising seas, coastal flooding, and more intense storms.
Funding for this year’s grants includes $144 million for 109 projects provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Congressional appropriations and private partnerships. These grants are in addition to the 27 projects totaling $44.7 million announced in October funded through the Inflation Reduction Act.
“This year’s grant slate continues our significant investments in nature-based solutions that are critical to increasing the resilience of vulnerable communities and protecting and restoring essential habitats for fish and wildlife,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The NCRF supports the development and implementation of sustainable designs, plans and practices that integrate natural features into successful coastal resilience outcomes and that promote adaptation and resilience to storms, floods and other coastal hazards.”
“NOAA is proud to work with NFWF and partners to help communities be ready and resilient to climate change,” said Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., NOAA administrator. “Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help bolster community resilience efforts and meet the demand we’re seeing for projects that address coastal hazards and enhance ecosystems that are important for wildlife, communities and the coastal economy.”
The natural infrastructure projects supported by the NCRF not only buffer communities from more intense storms, they also provide vital habitat for fish and wildlife species. The projects supported by the 109 grants announced today will restore and create important coastal habitats, including salt marshes in New England and restored tidal wetlands in California, and will help Alaskan coastal communities prepare for a changing climate.
“The National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF) presents a unique opportunity for the Department of Defense (DOD) to partner with non-governmental organizations and state and local governments to invest in climate resilience projects that reduce our installations’ and defense communities’ risks from storms, floods, and other coastal hazards.
Through the 2023 NCRF, the DOD Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program will invest $15 million to support the planning, design, or implementation of 11 coastal resilience projects,” said Brendan Owens, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment. “We’re thrilled to provide over $5.5 million toward two projects in Hawaiʻi that promote healthy and resilient coastal areas and watersheds for communities that rely on them, including the Hilo Bay Watershed on Hawaiʻi Island and the Heʻeia National Estuarine Research Reserve on Oʻahu. Investing in these collaborative efforts with partners demonstrates the Department’s commitment to solutions that advance installation and climate resilience across the country.”
The NCRF uses a “pipeline” approach for funding all stages of project development, including planning, design, and implementation. The 109 projects announced today will support efforts of grantees across all stages of the pipeline, including 17 grants to support ongoing NCRF-funded projects that will help these communities advance to the next stage in developing a “restoration-ready” resilience project.
“Through our partnership with NFWF we are taking meaningful action to protect shorelines, wildlife, and communities the places where our people live and work,” said Colette Hirstius, Shell’s Senior Vice President, Gulf of Mexico. “Shell’s business relies on a vibrant, resilient working coast and we are proud of the work the NCRF’s investments will do to help reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities, protect shorelines, wildlife, and communities most vulnerable to a changing climate.”
“TransRe is pleased to continue our support of NFWF’s efforts and the good they do for the environment and for the coastal communities they assist,” said Brett Denyer, TransRe’s Head of Sustainability and Resilience. “Since 2018, NCRF has funded various successful projects that have helped restore natural infrastructure with stronger and better protection and has demonstrated that nature-based solutions can be effective.”
“Oxy believes in the power of partnerships to drive positive change. We’re thrilled to collaborate with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on their grants to benefit coastal communities, which provide a unique opportunity to combine environmental preservation with community resilience,” said Karen Sinard, Oxy Vice President, Environmental and Sustainability. “Together, we can create a sustainable legacy for generations to come.”
NFWF launched the NCRF in 2018 at Congress’s direction, in partnership with NOAA and joined initially by Shell and TransRe. This program supports on-the-ground projects to engage communities and reduce their vulnerability to growing risks from extreme weather, rising sea levels, flooding, and other coastal hazards through strengthening coastal ecosystems that benefit both people and wildlife.
A list of the 2023 grants made through the National Coastal Resilience Fund in November is available here.
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, foundation and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 6,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $8.1 billion. NFWF is an equal opportunity provider. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
Climate, weather, and water affect all life on our ocean planet. NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict our changing environment, from the deep sea to outer space, and to manage and conserve America’s coastal and marine resources. See how NOAA science, services, and stewardship benefit your community: Visit noaa.gov for our latest news and features, and join us on social media.
About U.S. DOD REPI Program
The Department of Defense (DOD)’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program fosters multi-agency initiatives and collaboration to preserve compatible land uses and promote resilience around military installations and ranges. These efforts preserve and enhance Department of Defense (DOD) assets and capabilities in support of military readiness through the creation of unique cost-sharing partnerships with state and local governments and private conservation organizations. The REPI Program is administered by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). Learn more at https://www.repi.mil/.
Established in 1977, TransRe is the brand name for Transatlantic Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries (including Transatlantic Reinsurance Company). TransRe is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alleghany Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway company. Headquartered in New York with operations worldwide, TransRe offers the capacity, expertise and creativity necessary to structure programs across the full spectrum of property and casualty risks. Please visit www.transre.com for more information.
Occidental (Oxy) is an international energy company with assets primarily in the United States, the Middle East and North Africa. We are one of the largest oil and gas producers in the U.S., including a leading producer in the Permian and DJ basins, and offshore Gulf of Mexico. Our midstream and marketing segment provides flow assurance and maximizes the value of our oil and gas. Our chemical subsidiary OxyChem manufactures the building blocks for life-enhancing products. Our Oxy Low Carbon Ventures subsidiary is advancing leading-edge technologies and business solutions that economically grow our business while reducing emissions. We are committed to using our global leadership in carbon management to advance a lower-carbon world. Visit oxy.com for more information.