Interior Office of Insular Affairs Announces Nearly $3 Million to Protect Coral Reefs and Combat Invasive Species in the Insular Areas

FY2021 funds invasive trees and rats removal, coral reef mapping for better management, and the Coral Reef Fellowship Program, among other priorities

Last edited 10/12/2021
Contact Information


(202) 355-3023

CRAG of American Samoa photo

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) has announced $2,772,443 in Coral Reef and Natural Resources Initiative (CRNR) grant funds to protect coral reef resources in the U.S. territories and the freely associated states. The funding includes $1,541,421 that will support efforts to control and eradicate invasive species in the insular areas.

“Supporting healthy coral reefs and protecting natural resources from invasive species are essential components to confront climate change effectively,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Keone Nakoa. “Due to their island geographies and the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters, families in the U.S. territories and the freely associated states are particularly vulnerable to the existential threat of climate change. I am pleased to announce these FY 2021 funding awards, which help to address this priority for the Biden-Harris administration.”

Coral Reef and Natural Resources Initiative awards totaling $1,231,022 for fiscal year 2021 have been awarded as follows: 

  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Government’s Coral Reef Initiative - $113,290
  • Ridge to Reefs, non-governmental organization, for decreasing land-based sources of pollution impacting the coral reef in American Samoa - $115,879
  • Nova Southeastern University Coral Reef Fellowship Program for the benefit of American Samoa, Guam, the CNMI, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) - $210,000
  • Coral Reef Research Foundation, a Palau-based non-governmental organization, for mapping Palau’s lagoon and reefs - $212,329
  • U.S. VI coral restoration from Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease - $279,977
  • Guam Government’s Coral Reef Initiative - $299,547

Grants totaling $1,541,421 for fiscal year 2021 to combat invasive species have been awarded as follows:

  • University of Guam for Invasive Species Detector Dog pilot program - $866,423
  • Micronesia Conservation Trust, a regional non-governmental organization, for the eradication, control, and management of invasive species in Kosrae, Chuuk, and Yap - $300,000
  • Island Conservation, a non-profit organization, for the removal of invasive rats in Mili Atoll, Marshall Islands - $299,838
  • CNMI Government for Sabana Pandanus Forest control and native trees restoration project - $75,160

For more information about the Coral Reef and Natural Resources Program Initiative visit the OIA website at

The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, @InsularAffairs, and the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. OIA also administers a Technical Assistance Program with funding provided by Congress for all the insular areas. Find OIA on You can also follow and “like” OIA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or subscribe to the OIA YouTube Channel.


Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment