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A Message from Sam Rauch, Head of NOAA Fisheries

Healthy habitat: the foundation for abundant fisheries and marine life
July 2012

At NOAA Fisheries, we are charged with taking care of our nation’s fish and living marine resources. But healthy marine life depends on healthy habitat—the places where these animals feed, grow, reproduce, and raise their young.

NOAA Fisheries is engaged in a range of activities to protect and restore these important places and to educate people about the role of habitat in supporting marine life. Our efforts are paying off around the country—

NOAA is also implementing the Habitat Blueprint to increase collaboration among habitat activities across NOAA and with partners. It provides a framework to improve habitat for multiple NOAA objectives: fisheries, marine life, and coastal communities. We’ll establish habitat focus areas to prioritize long-term science and conservation efforts; use a more integrative approach for planning and conducting quality habitat science; and evaluate how we can strengthen policy and legislation to enhance our ability to achieve meaningful habitat conservation.

As a first step, we are conducting regional habitat initiatives to explore new collaborative approaches for habitat science and conservation. These efforts are helping us test aspects of the approaches within the Habitat Blueprint.

By building new partnerships and acting strategically, we can ensure that our coastal and marine habitats continue to sustain productive fisheries and protected resources for generations to come.

To learn more about NOAA Fisheries’ habitat activities I encourage you to visit our new habitat conservation portal page, which will link you to feature stories and the great habitat work that happens in our regions and science centers. 

 

Samuel D. Rauch III
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs,
performing the functions and duties of the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries