Manatee County to Receive NOAA Grant

Manatee County to Receive $5 Million NOAA Grant Toward Crooked River Ranch Purchase
Posted on 04/23/2024
A dock on the property of Crooked River RanchMANATEE COUNTY, FL (April 23, 2024) – Manatee County has received a $5 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to help fund its recent purchase of property along the Manatee River known as Crooked River Ranch.

This land purchase will protect and conserve 68 acres of native coastal habitat in perpetuity. Acquired through the work of the County’s Environmental Lands Management and Acquisition Committee (ELMAC), the Crooked River Ranch property is one of the few large undeveloped parcels along the Manatee River and will contribute significantly to creating a connected-wildlife corridor and enhancing climate resilience and water quality in an area under intense pressure from development.

“The NOAA grant is a great addition,” said Manatee County At-Large Commissioner George Kruse. “It shows that our ELMAC team is making real progress in acquiring the right parcels to preserve."

NOAA is recommending a total of $75 million to support coastal habitat restoration and conservation in partnership with state coastal management programs and national estuarine research reserves, with funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. Of the 22 projects awarded across 16 states, Manatee County’s application was the only one awarded in the state of Florida.

“This award is not only a national recognition of the unique environmental values found at Crooked River Preserve but an affirmation of skills within our County’s environmental team to write for a grant of national significance,” said Manatee County Director of Natural Resources Charlie Hunsicker. “This results in a return of federal tax dollars for environmental conservation here at home."