Local Partnerships Create National Impact

Mar 30, 2023

Jainey Bavishi (above), Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA Administrator, and Brenda Mallory, Chair of Council on Environmental Quality, welcomed Reserves and partners to explore transformational coastal management. 

How will coastal management meet 21st century challenges? Through community—a community of partners working locally and coming together nationally for greater impact.

Reserve managers joined colleagues from partner coastal programs in DC last week to discuss how to leverage diverse resources and partnerships for transformational (rather than transactional) coastal management. Together with representatives of Coastal Zone Management Programs, National Estuary Programs, Restore America’s Estuaries, NOAA, and EPA, they held a forum to discuss the value of place-based coastal management and how to connect it to funding opportunities that support the partnerships needed to transform the way we manage our coastlines.

Cory Riley (right) from the Great Bay Reserve joined panelists from partner programs in New York, Puerto Rico, and Washington to share local models of collaboration.

“New Hampshire’s coastal programs recognized long ago that the only way to manage our natural resources sustainably was by finding common goals and combining our resources to go after them,” says panelist Cory Riley, manager of the Great Bay Reserve and former NERRA president. “It was invigorating to take that attitude to a national conversation. Our collective problems keep growing in magnitude, our resources are limited—we have to transform how we work and connecting funding to productive partnerships is one way to do that.”

Long-time coastal champion Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) addressed the forum.

The timing for conversations like these is excellent, as funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act become available to help Reserves and their partners enhance efforts to work with communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change and other environmental hazards. By working together more closely and strategically, the members of NERRA, the Association of National Estuary Programs, the Coastal States Organization, and Restore America’s Estuaries can realize their vision for sustainably managed, resilient coasts.

Nicole LeBoeuf, Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s National Ocean Service.

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ReservesLocal Partnerships Create National Impact