NOAA and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Announce Five Grants to Benefit National System of Marine Protected Areas

MPA Center Also Announces Inclusion of 29 Existing Sites to the National System

June 8, 2010

Today, NOAA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation awarded five grants totaling $188,000, to fund stewardship projects and improve coordination efforts at various sites within the National System of Marine Protected Areas. These grants will help protect and conserve many coastal and marine places of significant ecological and economical value.

A curious Hawaiian green sea turtle in protected waters near Puako Island, Hawaii.

A curious Hawaiian green sea turtle in protected waters near Puako Island, Hawaii.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

“We are very pleased to support the collaborative stewardship efforts of these Marine Protected Areas,” said Anthony Chatwin, Ph.D., director of marine and coastal conservation at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. “Both NFWF and NOAA are committed to conserving our nation’s coastal and marine resources, and supporting our nation’s MPAs is an extremely effective way to get the job done.”

The funds will support the following projects:

One grant will help fund the installation of educational signs and maps at MPAs throughout California, to include Point Lobos State Marine Reserve.

One grant will help fund the installation of educational signs and maps at MPAs throughout California, to include Point Lobos State Marine Reserve.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Today also marks the announcement of 29 existing MPAs joining the national system of MPAs.  Now with 254 sites in the national system spanning across 31 states and territories, members benefit from coordinated regional planning and influence conservation and management initiatives. Being a member of the national system does not restrict or change the management of an MPA. For a list of new additions to the national system, visit http://mpa.gov/nationalsystem/nationalsystemlist.

“Joining the national system benefits MPAs by providing a mechanism for them to work together on issues of common concern,” said Joseph Uravitch, NOAA Director of National Marine Protected Areas Center. “With this new MPA Fund, we can now provide additional resources to help address these priority issues cooperatively.” 

The grants were announced today at a reception at Capitol Hill Ocean Week in Washington, D.C. All projects are funded for one year and funds must be spent by May 2011. The MPA Center and NFWF are planning on continuing the MPA Fund next year. For more information on the MPA Fund and the grantees, visit http://www.mpa.gov.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) charity established by Congress in 1984 to restore and enhance the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Through the many conservation partnerships that connect it with potentially every federal and state agency, key industry leaders, concerned private citizens and nonprofit at home and abroad, the Foundation has leveraged more than $600 million in federal and private funds into more than $1.5 billion for on-the-ground conservation.

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