NOAA Releases National Estuaries Restoration Inventory

NOAA recently announced the initiation of the National Estuaries Restoration Inventory that will track the progress made toward the goals of the Estuary Restoration Act of 2000. The inventory is an online tool to monitor restoration projects implemented around the country and will serve as a searchable source of information on restoration results.

The Estuary Restoration Act set a goal of restoring one million acres of estuary habitat—including salt marshes, seagrass beds, oyster reefs and associated habitats—by the year 2010. The inventory will serve as a restoration information clearinghouse, providing details on restoration techniques and monitoring results.

(NOAA Maryland National Estuarine Research Reserve System in the Chesapeake Bay. Click here for high resolution version (Image Source: NOAA)

“NOAA’s National Estuaries Restoration Inventory will make a huge difference in the effectiveness of estuarine habitat restoration,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The inventory is thorough, comprehensive, accessible and an overall improvement in communicating how to improve the effectiveness of our projects.”

NOAA encourages project managers to use the inventory to track their projects, find new partnership opportunities, and locate other regional restoration efforts to assist in future restoration planning and design. NERI also provides on-demand reports on specific projects. NERI’s online features will be effective in increasing public awareness and promoting local participation in restoration projects.

Projects can be submitted to the inventory from federal, state, local and private sources provided the project goal is to restore ecosystem benefits to estuaries and associated habitats.

The inventory continues to grow through the efforts of various partners and by building upon existing federal and state tracking efforts. Future enhancements of the inventory will include an interactive mapping component, allowing the public to perform project searches and create customized maps.

The inventory is a product of the NOAA Habitat Restoration Program, which works to increase the effectiveness and number of coastal habitat restoration projects. It plans, funds and implements restoration projects, advances the science underlying coastal habitat restoration and develops improved restoration technology. The program also transfers restoration technology and research and monitoring results through extension, outreach and education efforts.

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 the nation’s coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The National Estuaries Restoration Inventory (NERI) has been created to track estuary habitat restoration projects across the nation. The purpose of the inventory is to provide information on restoration projects in order to improve restoration methods and to track acreage restored toward the Act’s one million-acre goal

Suggested Resources: