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Fish & Wildlife Service to Offer $20 Million in Grants

January 30, 2013
USFWS

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced today that $20 million in grants to 24 critical coastal wetland projects in 13 states and territories to conserve and restore coastal wetlands and their fish and wildlife habitat. An additional $21.3 million in matching funds will be provided by partner contributions from state and local governments, private landowners and conservation groups through the 2013 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program.

One of those programs will benefit Lake Erie's Bluffs $3,000,000 Restoration Project.

"When President Obama unveiled his America's Great Outdoors initiative three years ago, our goal was to work with communities across the country to create a 21st century conservation ethic," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. "Our coastal grants program is a model of this kind of partnership, conserving vital wetlands hand-in-hand with partners from Maine to the Pacific Northwest to as far away as American Samoa in the South Pacific."

Coastal areas comprise less than 10 percent of the nation's land area yet support a significant number of wildlife species, including 75 percent of migratory birds, nearly 80 percent of fish and shellfish and about half of all threatened and endangered species.

"These coastal wetlands are extremely important to the future of both wildlife and humans," Ashe said. "As Superstorm Sandy showed, it is essential to have natural wetlands available to act as a buffer against extreme weather events.

"Coastal wetlands also serve as some of nature's most productive fish and wildlife habitat while providing improved water quality and abundant recreational opportunities for local communities. These grants will help our state partners implement some high-quality projects that support conservation and outdoor recreation."

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An additional $21.3 million in matching funds will be provided by partner contributions from state and local governments, private landowners and conservation groups through the 2013 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program.

The grants will be used to acquire, restore or enhance coastal wetlands and adjacent uplands to provide long-term conservation benefits to fish, wildlife and their habitat. States and territories receiving funds are California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and American Samoa.

The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and funded under provisions of the 1990 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act. Funding is provided by Sport Fish Restoration Act revenue money generated from an excise tax on fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels.

The grants support President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative for conservation, recreation and reconnecting people to the outdoors. A 50-State Report lists more than 100 of the country's most promising projects a result of meetings with governors and stakeholders held by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and other senior Interior officials to solicit ideas on how to best implement America's Great Outdoors initiative in their states.

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Including the 2013 grants, the Service has awarded about $320 million to coastal states and territories since the program began in 1992. When the 2013 projects are complete, about 298,000 acres of habitat will have been protected, restored or enhanced as a direct result of these grants.

A complete list of projects funded by the 2013 grant program can be found online at www.fws.gov/home/feature/2013/pdf/2013awardslist_v2.pdf.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel atwww.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq.

 
 

 

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