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Large Scale Projects

Scaling Up Coastal Restoration

During the past 30 years, the concept of science-based, ecosystem-level restoration has gained favor among scientists and policymakers as the most promising approach for returning degraded landscapes and watersheds to health and vitality. In recent years, NOAA has been focused on larger restoration efforts that affect an entire watershed versus smaller projects scattered along the coast.

Restoration and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

NOAA received $167 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to restore coastal areas throughout the country. The idea was to scale up successful restoration efforts to include entire watersheds or larger areas identified as not only environmentally important, but beneficial to the economy as well. The resulting 50 restoration projects are some of our most noteworthy large-scale restoration projects in the United States, and they embody current efforts to address ecosystem restoration in an integrative and dynamic manner, on a large spatial scale, involving whole (or even multiple) watersheds, and with complex stakeholder and public roles.

Learn more about the Recovery Act projects as examples of large-scale restoration.

Large-Scale Restoration at a Glance:

NOAA restoration specialists are:

  • Working to understand the ecological benefits of watershed-wide restoration.
  • Using science to choose the best available projects for restoration funding.
  • Developing goals for refining projects that make an unmistakable impact.
  • Monitoring success to serve as a model for other restoration projects.
An oyster reef is created in North Carolina's Pamlico Sound
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, NOAA received funding for large-scale coastal restoration, including projects like this one in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.