NFWF Announces More Than $760,000 in Grants to Support Sustainable Fisheries in the United States

Foundation awards seven grants to reduce bycatch, build capacity of fishermen and fishing communities, and improve recreational fisheries’ strategies 

WASHINGTON D.C. (November 27, 2017) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $766,871 in grants to support fishermen and community-led projects to promote sustainable fisheries across the United States. The grants will generate $840,887 in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of more than $1.6 million. 

The grants were awarded through the Fisheries Innovation Fund (FIF), a partnership between NFWF, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Walton Family Foundation. The work funded by these grants will result in improved management that strengthens the welfare of fishermen and local communities, promoting healthy fish stocks and healthy fisheries. The projects will improve angler engagement and encourage sustainable management of recreational fisheries.

“NFWF and our partners are excited to support these creative, locally-led initiatives that are necessary to address the challenges of maintaining sustainable fisheries,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The grants announced today through the Fisheries Innovation Fund will benefit fish stocks and the commercial and recreational fishermen that depend on them.” 

The seven grants announced today will fund conservation work in New England, the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific coast, covering 11 states. Grant recipients will reduce bycatch of depleted species and conserve their habitats while allowing fishermen to access target stocks. 

“The Fisheries Innovation Fund supports novel initiatives spearheaded by recreational and commercial fishermen,” said Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. "Our public - private partnership with the Foundation provides critical support for fishermen’s projects and we look forward to collaborating with grant recipients as they conduct their work to support strong coastal communities and sustainable fisheries.” 

Project highlights include engaging recreational anglers in finding sustainable management strategies that meet their needs in the Gulf of Mexico. Grantees will reduce bycatch and improve access to commercially important species in the New England groundfish fishery and the Gulf of Mexico reef fish fishery. Other projects will open up opportunities for young fishermen in Alaska and enable creative marketing approaches that will reinforce the benefits of sustainability for fishermen in Maine and California.

“The Walton Family Foundation is pleased to partner with NFWF and NOAA to fund innovation and new technologies to ensure that they make it into the field,” said Thomas V. Grasso, oceans initiative lead at the Walton Family Foundation. “Given the inherent challenges with fisheries science and management, we need innovative approaches and new technologies to keep our oceans healthy and prosperous for generations to come.” 

FIF was established in 2010 to increase revenue and provide additional access and fishing opportunities for both commercial and recreational fishermen in the United States. Since its inception, FIF has awarded $10.6 million to 96 projects in the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific coast, Hawaii, Alaska and the Great Lakes. 

A complete list of the 2017 grants made through the Fisheries Innovation Fund is available here.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.8 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.

About the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and our other social media channels.

About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation believes that conservation solutions that make economic sense stand the test of time. They work to achieve lasting change by creating new and unexpected partnerships among conservation, business and community interests to build durable solutions to important problems. Through its environment initiatives, the foundation is investing in two of the most important conservation issues of our time: restoring the health of the oceans through sustainable fisheries and preserving functioning rivers and the quality and availability of fresh water they provide. This work spans four initiatives: Oceans, Colorado River, Mississippi River and Coastal Gulf of Mexico. Learn more at: www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org​ and follow @WaltonFamilyFdn. 

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