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Funding Sources

Atlantic Coastal Act

With the passage in December 1993 of P.L.103-206, the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (ACA), the National Marine Fisheries Service, in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, was charged with the responsibility of supporting the interstate fisheries management efforts of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) ACA projects are carried out to gather information and conduct activities that support management of United States multi-jurisdictional fisheries. These projects respond to fishery management planning, data collection (statistics), research, habitat, and law enforcement needs under the Atlantic Coastal Act. Many of the projects funded are base elements that support fishery management programs for interacting Federal, and interstate fisheries. Therefore, funding under the Act provides a stable funding base for much of the interstate and cooperative State/Federal fisheries management programs that are carried out in U.S. Atlantic coast waters.

Programmatic funds apportioned to ASMFC member states based on a formula that includes a 1/3 equal distribution, a 1/3 distribution weighted by the value of each state’s commercial and recreational fisheries, and a 1/3 distribution weighted by the number of ASMFC fisheries management plans (FMPs) in which each state participated. Eligible states are also allowed to allocate their individual funds to each other for joint programs to support ASMFC management plans, or to ASMFC, as long as any reallocation is based on the above priorities. Brief description of programs and reports.

The Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP)

ACCSP was established via the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by its partner members in 1995. The ACCSP signatory partners are the fifteen Atlantic coast states, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the New England Fishery Management Council the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The MOU established the purpose and original goals and governance structure for ACCSP.  Having determined that there is an urgent shared and compelling need for improved statistical data on fisheries of the Atlantic coast of the United States, the partners in this MOU confirm their intent to establish an Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistical Program (ACCSP). This program is intended to coordinate present and expanded marine fisheries data collection and data management activities through coastwide cooperative planning, innovative uses of statistical theory and design, and consolidation of appropriate data into an integrated database system. Thus, the ACCSP is intended to provide overall coordination of both recreational and commercial data collection programs. The use of both recreational and commercial statistics in the overall fishery management process, including stock assessments and the drafting of fishery management plans, dictates the need for a fully accepted unified approach to provide coastwide coordination of all aspects of marine fishery data collection and management. 

Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership (ACFHP)

The Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership is a coast-wide collaborative effort to accelerate the conservation of habitat for native Atlantic coastal, estuarine-dependent, and diadromous fishes. They are a Partnership consisting of resource managers, scientists and professionals representing 33 different state, federal, tribal, non-governmental and other entities. They work in areas stretching from Maine to the Florida Keys, and from the headwaters of coastally draining rivers to the edge of the continental shelf, with a focus in estuarine environments.

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC)

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is a commission of U.S. Atlantic states formed to coordinate the conservation and management of 25 nearshore fish species, including river herring. 

Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP) 

The mission of the BREP is to develop technological solutions and investigate changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch of fish (including sponges and deep sea and shallow, tropical corals) and protected species (including marine mammals, seabirds, and sea turtles) as well as minimize bycatch injury and mortality (including post-release injury and mortality). 

Fisheries and the Environment (FATE)

FATE (Fisheries And The Environment) supports fisheries oceanography research that is driven to provide scientific advice on the sustainable use of U.S. fisheries resources under changing environmental conditions.

Habitat Assessment Improvement Plan (HAIP)

The Marine Fisheries Habitat Assessment Improvement Plan (HAIP) was published in May 2010 and is the first nationally coordinated plan to focus on the marine fisheries aspects of habitat science. It outlines current gaps in NOAA Fisheries' habitat science, steps to improve habitat assessments, and the need for a nationally-coordinated habitat science program. The HAIP addresses the current lack of knowledge regarding the association of marine species and their habitats, which impedes effective fisheries and habitat management, protection, restoration, and stock assessment. The document is intended to serve as a blueprint for NOAA Fisheries for coordinating its diverse habitat research, improving habitat assessments, and guiding efforts to increase support for habitat science.

Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act of 1986  

This Act establishes a formula-based financial assistance program with two overall purposes: 1) to promote and encourage state activities in support of the management of inter-jurisdictional fishery resources and 2) to promote the management of inter-jurisdictional fisheries resources throughout their range. Funds are made available to the States under Section 308(a) based on a complex apportionment formula that utilizes the volume and value of fish landed in each state by domestic commercial fishermen. Cost sharing projects are generally funded at a 75%level of federal participation (though the federal share can go as high as 90%).  Brief description of programs and available reports.

Marine Fisheries Stock Assessment Improvement Plan (SAIP)

The Marine Fisheries Stock Assessment Improvement Plan (SAIP) is the report of the NOAA Fisheries National Task Force for Improving Fish Stock Assessments. This report is the latest of a series of plans for enhancing and modernizing NOAA Fisheries programs for data collection, information technology, data management, stock assessments, scientific research, and fisheries management. The report includes specific recommendations for improving the quality of NOAA Fisheries' stock assessment programs and emphasizes the need for the agency to foster partnerships and cooperative research programs with other federal agencies, state agencies, private foundations, universities, commercial and recreational fishing organizations and individuals, environmental groups, and others with a vested interest in collecting similar types of data.  

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) River Herring Initiative 

NFWF is an independent working foundation that raises money for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and NOAA. NFWF is working to restore the health of the marine and coastal environment through conservation initiatives such as the River Herring Initiative.

NOAA Climate Program 

The Climate Program Office (CPO) manages competitive research programs in which NOAA funds high-priority climate science, assessments, decision support research, outreach, education, and capacity-building activities designed to advance our understanding of Earth’s climate system, and to foster the application of this knowledge in risk management and adaptation efforts. 


The Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) is responsible for the conservation, development and management of marine resources in the U.S. Territorial Sea and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) throughout the Northeast from Maine to Virginia. The grants program within the Operations and Budget Division administers a broad range of financial assistance and program partnership activities directed at supporting the core mission of the NOAA Fisheries Service. 

NOAA Habitat Blueprint 

The Habitat Blueprint is NOAA’s strategy to integrate habitat conservation throughout the agency, focus efforts in priority areas, and leverage internal and external collaborations to achieve measurable benefits within key habitats such as rivers, coral reefs, and wetlands. Within each of the NOAA regions, there has been effort to form habitat focus areas. There were a series of nominations made for the Greater Atlantic Region (GAR) that were reviewed and scored based on NOAA’s goals for this initiative. The Penobscot River in Maine and the Choptank River in Maryland were selected to be the focus areas for the GAR.

Northeast Regional Coordinating Council (NRCC)

Joint Committees of the NRCC enhance coordination among fishery management partners concerning process-related issues, data needs, and stock assessments; or serve as mechanisms to facilitate management negotiations. 

Research Set-Aside (RSA)

Research Set-Aside programs are unique to federal fisheries in the northeast. Although the Northeast Cooperative Research Program manages them, no federal funds are provided to support the research. Instead, funding is provided annually by the sale of Set-Aside allocations for quota managed or days-at-sea (DAS) managed fisheries. An RSA in the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan is currently used to fund research to reduce catch of river herring

Saltonstall-Kennedy Program (SK) 

The Saltonstall-Kennedy (S-K) Grant Program is a national competitive program administered by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce. The program provides grants or cooperative agreements for research and development projects to benefit the U.S. fishing industry. 

Sea Grant (SG) 

Sea Grant's mission is to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 

The USFWS has potential funding from a variety of different programs and grants. This include the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (Sport Fish Restoration and State Wildlife Grants), Fisheries Program (National Fish Passage and National Fish Habitat), as well as other programs (North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Coastal Program, and Tribal Wildlife Grant Program). Additionally, the State Wildlife Grant Program, Regional Conservation Needs Grants (e.g., Topic 7 originally designed for river herring work, but none has ever been funded) and National Fish Passage Program may be the most promising opportunities for USFWS funding for new river herring work.

United States Geological Survey (USGS)

The USGS is a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information.