The critical need for estuarine habitat restoration has attracted Congressional attention. In October 2000, Congress passed the “Estuary Restoration Act of 2000". This Act authorizes $275 million over five years for local restoration projects to restore one million acres of estuary habitat by 2010. The Act focuses on the importance of sound science and monitoring to achieve restoration success.
The Reserve System's Restoration Science Strategy was developed to provide policy and guidance on how restoration should be conducted in the Reserves. While restoration in and of itself is conducted within reserves, the Reserve System focuses predominantly on the science of restoration with six key focus areas including:
- Improving site-based restoration project planning based on historic conditions, desired outcome and a landscape scale context;
- Developing effective approaches to and testing innovative technology for restoration
- Monitoring restoration response
- Serving as local reference or control sites
- Translation/transfer of restoration information
- Scientific and technological advice to support policy and regulatory decisions
- Constituency building for support of restoration science
- Regional science coordination
The Restoration Science Strategy identifies restoration priorities of each reserve. Restoration Practitioners, decision makers, educators, and community groups are encouraged to contact individual reserves to find out what opportunities are available related to habitat restoration and restoration science.
NOAA's Estuarine Reserves Division and Restoration Center partnered to
use Reserves as reference sites to evaluate the effectiveness of
projects funded by the Estuarine Restoration Act. Background on the
project can be found here.