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Cooperation with States: ESA Section 6 Program

Overview | Agreements | Grants | Contacts

Species Recovery Grants to States:
Accomplishments Report

cover of Section 6 report
Program Report for FY2003-2012

» Applying for a Section 6 Agreement [pdf]

smalltooth sawfish entangled in fishing gear
Smalltooth Sawfish
(Pristis pectinata)
Photo: © Florida Museum of Natural History

The endangered smalltooth sawfish is highly susceptible to entanglement in fishing line and nets; entanglement has been identified as one the main causes for this species' decline. Outreach efforts supported by the section 6 program have been conducted in Florida to increase public awareness of proper handling and release of these fish if caught accidentally.

Humpback whale
(Megaptera novaeangliae)
Credit: Maine DMR; NMFS permit #605-1904.

Researchers at the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and collaborators use a 50-foot cantilevered pole to attach a special tag with suction cups to the dorsal surface of a humpback whale. The tag, programmed to remain attached for about four hours, will record sound, depth, and behavior. This work will help answer questions about how dive behavior influences entanglement risk of large whales.


Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) provides a mechanism for cooperation between NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and States in the conservation of threatened, endangered, and candidate species.

Under section 6, NMFS is authorized to enter into agreements with any State that establishes and maintains an "adequate and active" program for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. Once a State enters into such an agreement, NMFS is authorized to assist in, and provide Federal funding for, implementation of the State's conservation program.

Federal funding, provided in the form of grants, can be used to support management, research, monitoring and outreach projects that have direct conservation benefits for listed species, recently de-listed species, and candidate species that reside within that State.


Cooperative conservation partnerships between NMFS and States can be formalized by entering into agreements pursuant to section 6 of the ESA. The following States, through their appropriate state agencies, currently hold section 6 agreements with NMFS (year effective noted in parentheses):

  1. Alabama (2010)
  2. Alaska (2009)
  3. California (2009)
  4. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (2009)
  5. Connecticut (2015)
  6. Delaware (2007)
  7. Florida (2003)
  8. Georgia (1990)
  9. Guam (2014)
  10. Hawaii (2006)
  11. Louisiana (2009)
  12. Maine (2005)
  13. Maryland (1998)
  14. Massachusetts (1996)
  15. Mississippi (2009)
  16. New Jersey (2004)
  17. New York (1992)
  18. North Carolina (2000)
  19. Oregon (2009)
  20. Puerto Rico (2003)
  21. South Carolina (1984)
  22. Texas (2009)
  23. U.S. Virgin Islands (2003)
  24. Virginia (2009)
  25. Washington (2008)


Lisa Manning
Program Officer
Office of Protected Resources
1315 East West Hwy, SSMC3
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Lanni Hall
Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office

Karla Reece
Southeast Regional Office


Justin Greenman
West Coast Regional Office

David Nichols
Pacific Islands Regional Office

Sadie Wright
Alaska Regional Office


Updated: January 22, 2015