Roger B Griffis Roger.B.Griffis at noaa.gov
Wed Sep 22 18:10:26 EDT 2004

September 15, 2004	


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's Coral Reef
Conservation Program announced today it will award almost $9 million in
grants to partners for coral reef conservation and research activities
in fiscal year 2004.  NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of

Funds will support a range of activities in the public, private and
non-profit sectors, from community conservation projects to large-scale
coral reef observation systems, and include support for three coral reef
research institutes funded by NOAA in Hawaii, Florida and Puerto Rico.
The awards reflect NOAA's strong support for coral reef conservation
efforts outside the agency, and represent over thirty percent of the
CRCP's budget of $28 million in 2004.

"Coral reefs are spectacular marine ecosystems in terms of their
diversity, productivity, and economic value.  Unfortunately, reefs have
deteriorated significantly worldwide over the last several decades, and
it is critical that we understand the underlying factors that regulate
reef ecosystems in order to protect remaining healthy reefs and reverse
further decline in degraded reefs," said retired Navy vice Adm. Conrad
C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and
Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator.  "NOAA and the Bush Administration
are working to improve the understanding of this critical environmental
ecosystem through the Coral Reef Conservation Program."

 "Coral reefs are some of our most economically valuable and
biologically diverse marine ecosystems, but they are severely threatened
in the U.S. and globally," said Tim Keeney, Deputy Assistant Secretary
for Oceans and Atmosphere.  "NOAA recognizes the importance of
supporting research and management activities with our partners to
better understand and reverse coral reef decline, and build resilient
reef ecosystems for the future."

In Florida the CRCP will invest more than $3.2 million through external
grant awards and NOAA programs including mapping and monitoring of coral
reef ecosystems, scientific and socio-economic research, support for
effective management and enforcement in marine reserves, reef
restoration and educational outreach efforts.  Funding for the National
Coral Reef Institute, based in Florida at Nova Southeastern University,
was announced in July at almost $1 million.

The Coral Reef Conservation Program is a partnership of NOAA's line
offices working on coral reef issues, including the National Ocean
Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Oceanic and
Atmospheric Research and the National Environmental Satellite, Data and
Information Service.  The program supports effective management and
sound science to preserve, sustain and restore valuable coral reef

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety
through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related
events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal
and marine resources.

The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program also announced solicitation of
grant proposals for 2005.  Initial applications are due to NOAA on
December 10, 2004 and final submissions are due March 4, 2005. 
Information on this and other funding opportunities is available on the

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program: http://www.coralreef.noaa.gov
NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

Contact:	Ben Sherman, NOAA Public Affairs
		(301) 713-3066 ext. 178

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