WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) has announced $1,432,994 in fiscal year 2023 Coral Reef and Natural Resources Program (CRNR) grant funding that will go towards supporting programs and projects related to coral reef and natural resources protection in the territories and the freely associated states.
“Coral reefs are important income generators for tourism and food industries in island economies; and while coral reefs protect and harbor fish and other coastal resources, they also provide islands with critical protection from erosion and wave action from storms.,” said Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen G. Cantor. “We are grateful to Congress for providing this funding and helping the Insular Areas protect these unique natural resources.”
Projects and programs funded through the Coral Reef and Natural Resources program in fiscal year 2023 for the Insular Areas follow:
U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) - $350,000
Guam - $325,000
Republic of Palau - $299,994
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) - $245,000
All Territory Participation in the National Coral Reef Management Fellowship Program
The CRNR is a discretionary program, and only provides funding for needs and training related to coral reef resource management and combatting invasive species in the Insular Areas. Other similar discretionary programs funded by OIA are the recently announced Maintenance Assistance Program and the Technical Assistance Program, portions of which were announced by Secretary Haaland on her recent trip to the Pacific.
Funds under these discretionary programs are distributed through a competitive grant application process that is open for applications each year in October on grants.gov under CFDA 15.875. More information about these and other funding provided to the Insular Areas through OIA may be found at www.doi.gov/oia.
The Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs and the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. OIA also administers a discretionary Technical Assistance Program for all the Insular Areas.