National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Announces Funding for Coral Restoration in U.S. Pacific Islands

Silver Spring, Md. – February 3, 2023 – The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation announced a new funding opportunity in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support coral restoration and capacity building in the U.S. Pacific Islands through the “Capacity Building to Implement Coral Restoration Action Plans in the U.S. Pacific Islands” 2023 Grant Opportunity.  

The Foundation and NOAA anticipate collectively awarding more than $700,000 over the next two years. This funding will support projects that directly contribute to coral restoration progression in the four U.S. Pacific Island jurisdictions of American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, and Hawaii, by providing the means for capacity building and restoration implementation. The primary goal for this funding opportunity is to help transition the U.S. Pacific Island jurisdictions from coral restoration planning into implementation and to support the activities identified in the draft action plans developed by each jurisdiction. 

Coral reefs are the most biodiverse marine ecosystems on our planet and are home to a vibrant array of marine life. Reefs provide critical services, not just for ocean ecosystems, but also for coastal communities. They protect coastlines and critical infrastructure from storm surge and support local economies by generating billions of dollars each year from tourism and fishing activities. 

Conservation of critical habitats such as coral reefs is a key pillar of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s mission to conserve special places and support a healthy ocean. Through programs like Mission: Iconic Reefs in the Florida Keys and coral capacity building in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Foundation works with NOAA and other partners to plan and coordinate restoration activities, support research into reef restoration, and engage local communities in stewardship activities that contribute to the success of restoration efforts. 

Coral restoration is relatively new in the U.S. Pacific Islands. This program will support the current coral restoration planning process that led to the development of draft restoration action plans for each jurisdiction. In these draft action plans, the jurisdictions highlighted the need for underlying capacity to accomplish restoration goals and implement the restoration plans. This grant opportunity will help transition the U.S. Pacific Island jurisdictions’ local prioritized reef sites identified in the draft plans from restoration planning into implementation.  

Funding is intended for organizations with demonstrated expertise in coral reef restoration and are either already actively engaged or plan to be actively engaged in coral reef restoration at one or more of the U.S. Pacific Islands jurisdictions. The Foundation and NOAA want to ensure that participating restoration organizations have a firm foundation and are well-equipped to compete for future larger-scale restoration funding opportunities. 

Proposals should be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on Friday, March 31, 2023. For more information and to apply, please visit   


The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, established in 2000, is the official non-profit partner of the National Marine Sanctuary System. The Foundation directly supports America’s national marine sanctuaries through our mission to protect species, conserve ecosystems and preserve cultural and maritime heritage. We accomplish our mission through community stewardship and engagement programs, on-the-water conservation projects, public education and outreach programs, and scientific research and exploration. The Foundation fosters innovative projects that are solution-oriented, scalable and transferable, and develop strategic partnerships that promote the conservation and recovery of species and their habitats. Learn more at 


Contact: Chip Weiskotten 

Director of Strategic Communications