Coastal Program

Welcome to the Coastal Program

The Coastal Program is one of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s most effective tools for delivering fish and wildlife habitat restoration and protection on public and privately-owned lands. Our staff are located in 24 priority coastal areas, including the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes, and Caribbean.

These locally-based staff possess an intimate knowledge of the community, its natural resources, environmental challenges, potential partners, and political and economic issues. This knowledge enables the Service to develop long-term, diverse partnerships that leverage technical and financial resources to deliver strategic habitat conservation at a landscape-scale.

Coastal Program staff use science-based conservation design to address the habitat conservation priorities of the Service and our partners, and to provide effective stewardship of the nation's coastal and estuarine natural resources.

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Project Highlights

Kure Atoll Restoration and Marine Debris Removal

Marine debris is a growing global pollution problem, affecting 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all sea bird species, and 43% of marine mammal species. Both terrestrial and aquatic wildlife are accidentally ingesting or becoming entangled in the refuse, which is leading to their death.

Coastal Program staff worked with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources to remove marine debris from over 280 acres of coral reefs and beaches on Kure Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The project restored seabird nesting habitat making it possible for the future translocation of federally endangered Laysan ducks to the atoll. This project also benefited the federally endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal and sea turtles. In addition to project planning, our staff secured a grant that helped fund the project and participated in project monitoring.


Coastal Prairie Enhancement Project

The Attwater’s prairie-chicken is a subspecies of the Greater prairie chicken found along the coast of Texas and Louisiana. Habitat loss has reduced the population of this highly endangered species from 1 million birds to fewer than 100 in the wild. The Coastal Program is supporting the recovery of the Attwater’s prairie chicken.

In 2013, Coastal Program staff provided technical and financial assistance to restore over 2,600 acres of coastal prairie by eradicating fire ants and managing brush habitat in southeastern Texas. The restoration area encompassed the nesting sites of the last eight Attwater’s prairie chickens remaining outside of the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge. The treatments were intended to enhance Attwater’s prairie-chicken survival, particularly brood survival.


Uihlein Marsh Restoration Project

uihein harsh restoration

The Coastal Program’s ability to work on public and private lands helps the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) to implement landscape conservation beyond their boundaries, and maintain habitat connectivity and continuity. Working with Ducks Unlimited, Coastal Program staff restored 310 acres of marsh on the Uihlein Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) in Wisconsin.

This WPA, located in the Leopold Wetland Management District, is a premier migratory bird area within the Lake Michigan watershed and is managed by the NWRS. The WPA offers exceptional waterfowl breeding, nesting, and migration habitat and is open to the public for a variety of outdoor recreation pursuits. In addition to financial assistance, our staff provided technical assistance including habitat assessments, restoration recommendations, and project design review.

Find Your Program Office

USFWS Region 4 USFWS Region 5 USFWS Region 2 USFWS Region 8 USFWS Region 3 USFWS Region 4 USFWS Region 7 USFWS Region 1 USFWS Region 1

What's New

Check out the Coastal Program's 2014 Annual Accomplishment 

The Coastal Program is helping to promote Living Shorelines!


Department of Interior has released the Spring 2015 NewsWave

The Department of the Interior's Summer 2014 Issue of the NewsWave!

The Estuary Habitat Restoration Council has prepared a draft Revision of the Estuary Restoration Act’s Monitoring Data Standards.

Check out the recently released Status and Trends of Wetlands in Coastal Watersheds 2004-2009


Quick Resource Library

2014 Accomplishment Report

National summary of our 2014 conservation efforts, with regional summaries, and highlighted projects and activities.


2013 Accomplishment Report

National summary of our 2013 conservation efforts, with regional summaries, and highlighted projects and activities.


Restoration Returns
Working with the Service's Economics Division, this report assesses the economic stimulus associated with our habitat conservation projects.



Coastal Program National Strategic Plan

The National Strategic Plan presents the goals of the Coastal Program, and the geographic focus areas where we concrete our habitat conservation efforts.



National Coastal Wetlands Grant

The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program annually delivers conservation dollars to help coastal states U.S. territories to protect and restore coastal wetlands. Funding is provided through the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.

National Marine Protected Area Center

Co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and the Interior but housed under the National Marine Sanctuaries Program in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Marine Protected Area Center works in partnership with federal, state, tribal, and local governments and stakeholders to build a National System of Marine Protected Areas, and to support and enhance existing marine protected area programs.

Last updated: July 10, 2015