Resilient Coastal Communities and Habitat Initiatives

U.S. ocean and coastal ecosystems are vital to our economy and quality of life. These ecosystems are rich in living and non-living marine resources that sustain prosperity and economic growth and support resilient communities. NOAA protects, preserves, manages, restores and enhances the nation's coastal resources and ecosystems along 95,439 miles of U.S. shoreline. NOAA programs support the environmental, social, and economic well being of the coast using ecosystem approaches to protect and restore habitats and provide information and services to support resilient communities.

Coral Reef Conservation Program

Healthy coral reefs are some of the most valuable ecosystems on the planet, annually providing an estimated $375 billion in economic and environmental services  such as food, coastal protection, and tourism. Reef-supported tourism alone generates an estimated $30 billion.  Coral reefs are among the oldest communities of life on Earth and take thousands of years to grow into the immense and complex habitats we see today. These ecosystems are home to enormous riches in biological diversity, which is part of what makes them so beautiful and awe-inspiring. Several medical advances that involve reef ecosystems are on the horizon, including bone grafts,  virus-treating chemicals from corals, and potential cancer treatments from reef-dwelling species. These promising innovations can only be realized if healthy coral reefs are sustained.

Coral Reef Website

Habitat Blue Print

The Habitat Blueprint provides a forward looking framework for NOAA to think and act strategically across programs and with partner organizations to address the growing challenge of coastal and marine habitat loss and degradation. Through the Blueprint, NOAA will increase the effectiveness of our efforts to improve habitat conditions for fisheries, coastal and marine life, along with other economic, cultural, and environmental benefits our society needs and enjoys.

Habitat Blueprint Website

Marine Debris Program

Since 2006, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has led national and international efforts to research, prevent, and reduce the impacts of marine debris. Its staff, which is positioned across the country, supports marine debris projects in partnership with state and local agencies, tribes, non-governmental organizations, academia, and industry. The program also spearheads national research efforts and works to change behavior in the public through outreach and education initiatives. The program’s  mission is to investigate and solve the problems that stem from marine debris, in order to protect and conserve our nation’s marine environment, natural resources, industries, economy, and people.

Marine Debris Website

Office of Response and Restoration

NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) is a center of expertise in preparing for, evaluating, and responding to threats to coastal environments, including oil and chemical spills, releases from hazardous waste sites, and marine debris. OR&R’s fulfills its mission of protecting and restoring NOAA trust resources by providing scientific and technical support to prepare for and respond to oil and chemical releases, determining damage to natural resources from these releases, protecting and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems, and working with communities to address critical local and regional coastal challenges.

Response and Restoration Website

This represents a sample of the NOAA programs employing EBM to promote resilient coastal communities and habitats, it is not comprehensive. If there are programs you feel should be included please contact us.