NFWF Announces $4 Million in Grants to Support Sustainable Fisheries

Grants will support efficient fisheries data collection and expand innovations to new fisheries

Fishing boat near Sitka, Alaska

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 28, 2024) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and NOAA Fisheries today announced $4 million in grants to support data modernization and electronic data collection in U.S. fisheries. The grants will generate $7.5 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $11.5 million.

The grants were awarded through the Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program (EMR Grant Program), a partnership between NFWF and NOAA Fisheries and the Walton Family Foundation. 

“Recreational and commercial fisheries and the species they rely on all benefit from the availability of accurate and timely data to support sustainable fisheries and coexistence with wildlife,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The grants announced today highlight NFWF’s growing partnership with fishing communities to develop and implement cost efficient gear and electronic technologies that work for fishermen and expand these benefits to new communities.” 

The 17 projects announced today will expand proven electronic technologies to new fisheries, deploy artificial intelligence onboard vessels to make electronic data collection more efficient, and enhance data collection in some of the nation’s largest fisheries. Projects will support sustainable management efforts in federal and state fisheries in Alaska, California, Florida, Hawai‘i, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington State, along with the territory of Puerto Rico.

“Together with NFWF, we are proud to invest in the advancement of electronic data collection and data modernization to support fisheries management across 10 states and Puerto Rico,” said Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries Janet Coit. “These advancements will greatly benefit fishing communities, marine ecosystems, and improve our science-based sustainable fisheries management efforts in the face of our changing climate.” 

This year’s grants include multiple projects to build tools and capacity for conservation partners to collect timely and accurate data. One example is a project working to equip tribal government partners with hardware to electronically collect and share fisheries survey and environmental data from the field, providing long-term efficiency gains for the partnership while enhancing data available for conservation decision making. Additional projects will continue the growth of electronic monitoring and electronic reporting in fisheries around the United States. 

"Innovative ideas like these work to modernize fisheries by increasing the speed and transparency of data. They can also decrease the cost of monitoring. All of which can help managers and fishermen operate successful, sustainable businesses," said Cara Eisel, Program Officer at the Walton Family Foundation. "This work will help support sustainable fisheries for generations to come."

The EMR Grant Program was established in 2015 to advance NOAA Fisheries’ sustainable fisheries goals to partner with fishermen and other stakeholders, state agencies and fishery information networks to integrate technology into fisheries data collection and observations. To date, the program has awarded more than $32.9 million to 112 projects in U.S. fisheries and has generated an additional conservation impact of $49.3 million through matching contributions. In 2023, Congress appropriated $3.5 million to NOAA Fisheries for this program’s 2023–2024 slate of awards.

A complete list of the grants made through the Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Program is available here.    

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) works with the public and private sectors to sustain, restore and enhance the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats for current and future generations. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF has grown to become the nation’s largest conservation foundation. Since its founding, NFWF has supported more than 6,800 grantee organizations and funded more than 22,100 projects that have generated a total conservation impact of more than $10 billion. NFWF is an equal opportunity provider. Learn more at

About the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
Climate, weather, and water affect all life on our ocean planet. NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict our changing environment, from the deep sea to outer space, and to manage and conserve America’s coastal and marine resources. See how NOAA science, services, and stewardship benefit your community: Visit for our latest news and features, and join us on social media.

About Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. To learn more, visit



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