New Funding for Coastal Habitat Restoration in Manatee

An April NOAA news release announced a recommendation of $123 million in funding across state and territorial coastal management programs and national estuarine research reserves was announced. The funding will support habitat restoration and conservation, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.

The funding, made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act will allow NOAA to build on the important work done by states and territories over the last 50 years to conserve and manage our nation’s coastal areas and conduct long-term research to better understand the function of our estuaries.

“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.”

“America’s coastal communities are on the frontlines of climate change — and we can tap into the power of nature to reduce the impacts of sea level rise, storms and erosion,” said Prabhakar. “Through President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, we are taking historic action to meet the climate crisis and build a more resilient future for all.”

The funding includes $59.8 million for state and territory coastal zone management programs for 22 projects and $15 million for national estuarine research reserves for eight projects.

One of the 22 projects nationwide being funded is in Manatee County. The Manatee County Government, Environmental Lands Program will receive $5 million for the Manatee River Corridor Acquisition.

This land purchase will protect and conserve 68 acres of native coastal habitat in perpetuity. The Crooked River Ranch property is one of the few large undeveloped parcels along the Manatee River, and will contribute significantly to creating a connected wildlife corridor and enhancing climate resilience and water quality in an area under intense pressure from development. START was pleased to assist this grant request to NOAA with a letter of support.

Photo courtesy of NOAA

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