Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

California Partners Receive $225,000 in Wetlands Grants for Waterfowl Habitat

Jun 15, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 15, 2011  

Contact: Erica Szlosek (916) 978-6159

Fish and Wildlife Service Wetlands Grants for Migratory Birds Include $225,000 for California Partners

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission approved spending more than $3 million from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to protect an estimated 1,600 acres of waterfowl habitat on 3 units of the National Wildlife Refuge System.  The Commission also approved $23.5 million in federal funding for grants to conserve more than 139,000 acres of wetlands and associated habitats in Canada through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).

“Protecting North America’s wetlands ­ – which provide so many ecological, economic, and social benefits – is crucial,” said Salazar, who chairs the Commission. “Besides providing habitat for fish, wildlife, and a variety of plants, wetlands are nurseries for many saltwater and freshwater fish and shellfish of commercial and recreational importance, and they provide hunting, fishing and other wildlife viewing opportunities for millions of Americans.”

A presentation summarizing 45 projects that were previously approved for funding by the North American Wetlands Conservation Council under the NAWCA U.S. Small Grants Program was given to the Commission.  These grant awards total more than $3 million in federal funds.  Partners will contribute more than $12 million in matching funds toward these projects, which will protect and enhance 26,050 acres of wetlands and associated habitats in 24 states from Maine to California.

Each year, the Commission pre-approves the total amount of funding to be distributed to Small Grants projects in the next fiscal year. Final project selection authority is delegated to the Council, which then reports its selections back to the Commission.  For fiscal year 2011, the Commission authorized up to $5 million to fund projects under the Small Grants program.

The projects funded in California are:

Grasslands Wetland Enhancement
Grantee: Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Location: Merced County

This grant project will enhance 397 previously restored acres and an additional 123 acres of seasonal wetlands by installing a water delivery pipeline that will allow habitat managers to independently flood certain wetlands while conserving water.  Species that use this habitat include mallard, northern pintail, green-winged teal, great blue heron, great egret, black-crowned night heron, and marbled godwit.  ($75,000)

Grasslands Wetland Restoration and Upland Enhancement Project
Grantee: California Waterfowl Association
Location: Merced County

There are two projects located on Los Banos Wildlife Area and Mud Slough Duck Club which are within the Northern San Joaquin Valley, an area made up of more than 180,000 acres of wetland habitat; the largest remaining contiguous block of wetland habitat in the state. It is internationally recognized for its importance to wetland conservation and bird habitat. ($75,000)

Goodyear Duck Club Enhancement Project
Grantee: California Waterfowl Association
Location: Solano County

This project will improve waterfowl habitat through improved water conveyance structures and drainage. Species that use this habitat include mallard, northern pintail, green-winged teal, American wigeon, short-earred owls, marsh wrens and long-billed curlews.  ($75,000)

For every dollar spent on Federal Duck Stamps, ninety-eight cents goes directly to purchase vital habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission oversees the use of Federal Duck Stamp funds for the purchase and lease of these wetland habitats for national wildlife refuges. To date, more than 5.3 million acres of wetlands have been purchased using more than $750 million in Duck Stamp revenue.

More information about the approved NAWCA grant programs and projects is available on the Web at: http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/index.shtm.

The Commission includes Senators Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Representatives John Dingell of Michigan and Robert Wittman of Virginia, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, as well as state representatives serving as ex-officio members who vote on projects located within their respective states.

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