September 2007 Asheville Field Office press releases, story ideas, and media advisories
September 10, 2007
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is awarding two grants totaling $49,259 to support water quality improvement projects in the Upper Nolichucky River Basin, home to the federally endangered Appalachian elktoe mussel.
A $25,000 grant is awarded to the Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development program (Blue Ridge RC&D), while $24,259 will go to the Toe River Valley Watch (TRVW). Both Blue Ridge RC&D and the TRVW will identify willing land owners interested in receiving funds to participate in soil conservation and water quality projects on their lands.
“These grants will enable private landowners to minimize erosion from their land and help protect water quality. The landowners win, people who use and visit the rivers win, and the fish and wildlife that depend on the river win,” said Anita Goetz, a Service biologist working with BRRCD and TRVW, “This money will fund projects that will make good streams even better.”
The money will support efforts to stabilize eroding stream banks, establish streamside forests, keep livestock out of streams where they contribute to stream bank erosion and can directly contaminate the water, keep agricultural runoff out of streams and eradicate invasive plants. All work will be done on private lands with willing landowners in the Upper Nolichucky River Basin in an effort to improve water quality.
The funds come from the Service’s Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program, a program designed to provide technical and financial assistance to private landowners who want to improve fish and wildlife habitat on their property. In the case of these grants, the focus is on managing streams and floodplain areas to protect water quality for the Appalachian elktoe mussel and other aquatic life.
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