In 1994, Congress formalized the partnership between NFWF and U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Since that time, NFWF has rapidly expanded its focus on the restoration and enhancement of marine and coastal habitats. Nearly half of NFWF’s investments support conservation activities benefiting imperiled marine and coastal species and the critical ecosystems in which they reside. In total, NFWF leveraged more than $76.2 million in NOAA funding to produce more than $207.5 million for on-the-ground and in-the-water conservation.
In FY 2015, NFWF awarded $4.4 million in NOAA funds to 67 projects focused on coral reefs, sea turtles, marine debris removal, sustainable fisheries, and coastal habitat restoration. While some of these projects did not require matching funds, NFWF’s partners leveraged the NOAA funds to produce more than $8.8 million for marine and coastal conservation. New partnerships in fiscal year 2015 created the Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Implementation program, which awarded $2 million in NOAA funds and leveraged $4.6 million to support projects in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. NFWF and NOAA also partnered on a new coastal resiliency program across the entire Southeast Atlantic seaboard, with a focus in the Cape Fear watershed in North Carolina. Furthermore, NFWF and NOAA began discussions of a new memorandum of agreement to establish a formal framework to further cooperation and coordination with the mutual goals of engaging people in conservation, stewardship, resilience, and the management of fish, wildlife, plants and other natural resources.