Coral Restoration Foundation™ (CRF™) is excited to share its recommendation for $6.9 million in funding as part of the Biden-Harris Administration's Climate-Ready Coasts Initiative. If approved, this funding would contribute to the $11 million CRF™ project, “Multi-Site Coral Reef Restoration to Build Resilient Communities in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”
Dr. R. Scott Winters, CEO of Coral Restoration Foundation™, shared his enthusiasm: "This funding recommendation is a significant milestone for CRF™ and our mission to restore coral habitats. The most exciting aspect of this grant is the potential that it has to inject resources into local economies, with our proposed activities focusing on directly supporting the communities that depend on these reefs.”
The Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate-Ready Coasts initiative aims to develop climate solutions, strengthen resilience to coastal hazards, rehabilitate coastal habitats, assist underserved communities, and create employment opportunities.
If these recommendations are approved, CRF™ will allocate $4.1 million for work in Florida as part of Mission: Iconic Reefs, concentrating on reintroducing over 70,000 colonies of endangered coral species across Mission: Iconic Reef sites. The work would enhance genetic diversity in the wild, and bolster in-situ coral nursery infrastructure. For context, as of April 2023, CRF™ has already returned more than 220,000 corals to the reefs of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, restoring more than 34,000 square meters of this threatened habitat.
In the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the remainder of the funding would support location-specific restoration plans, in collaboration with local partners, working to realize territory-wide restoration goals including the regional genotyping of Acropora palmata. But most importantly, all the proposed restoration work under this grant would bring significant socio-economic benefits to local communities, injecting resources into all three local economies through activities such as strategic hiring, asset procurement, and recreational charters.
But most importantly, all the proposed restoration work under this grant would bring significant socio-economic benefits to local communities, injecting resources into all three local economies through activities such as strategic hiring, asset procurement, and recreational charters.
Coral Restoration Foundation™ is thankful for the support of local collaborators and for the recognition that this funding recommendation signifies.