Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Secretary Salazar Announces $35.7 Million for Refuge Acquisitions and Wetlands Grants; Six Projects in California Funded

Jun 16, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2010
Contacts:
Rachel F. Levin (USFWS Washington, DC) 703-358-2405
Scott Flaherty (USFWS California-Nevada) 916-978-6156

 Secretary Salazar Announces $35.7 Million for Refuge Acquisitions and Wetlands Grants for Migratory Birds
Six Projects in California Funded, 110-Acre Acquisition Approved for Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge  

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has approved a total of $35.7 million for refuge acquisitions and wetlands grants for migratory birds -- $30.4 million in federal funding for grants to conserve more than 319,000 acres of wetlands and associated habitats in the United States and Canada under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) and $5.3 million in Federal Duck Stamp funds to add 1,849 wetland acres to six units of the National Wildlife Refuge System. 

Included in the announcement is a NAWCA standard grant for $999,686 for the Redwood Coast Wetlands Project in Humboldt and Del Norte counties in northern California.  Partners will provide more than $2 million in matching funds for the project, which will restore and enhance more than 1,500 acres of habitat.  Small grants totaling more than $375,000 were awarded for five projects that will restore or enhance more than 1,300 acres of habitat in the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay.  Partners will provide more than $519,000 in matching funds toward these projects.  Descriptions of the approved NAWCA small grant projects are available at: http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/Small/2010.shtm  Project descriptions for standard grants are available at: http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/Standard/US/2010_June.shtm  

“Besides providing habitat for fish, wildlife and plants, our nation’s wetlands provide vital storm protection for coastal areas, hold and slowly release flood waters, act as filters to cleanse water of impurities and provide recreation and wildlife viewing opportunities for millions of people,” said Salazar, who chairs the Commission. 

The Commission includes Senators Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Blanche Lincoln 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. 

The Commission also approved the acquisition of 110 acres of riparian habitat for Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Sacramento County, California. The acquisition is funded by proceeds from sales of the Federal Duck Stamp, also known as the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp. 

"The acquired land will provide short grass habitat for nesting arctic geese, cranes and curlew and wetland areas will provide quality habitat for wintering, migrating and breeding waterfowl," said Stone Lakes NWR Manager Bart McDermott. 

Nearly $25.4 million in NAWCA Standard Grants will support five Canadian projects that will benefit ducks, geese and other migratory birds on more than 300,000 acres in 12 provinces and territories.  Partners will contribute more than $47 million toward these projects.  

The Commission also heard a report about 43 projects that were previously approved for funding by the North American Wetlands Conservation Council under the NAWCA U.S. Small Grants Program.  Partners will contribute more than $7.7 million toward these projects, which will benefit 14,776 acres of wetlands and associated habitats in 24 states from Maine to California.  The Commission authorized up to $5 million to fund projects under the Small Grants program in each of the next three years.  

In addition to funding the purchase of wetland habitat for Stone Lakes NWR, the Commission also approved additions to six units of the National Wildlife Refuge System to secure breeding, resting and feeding habitat.  These acquisitions include: 

Cache River National Wildlife Refuge, Jackson, Prairie, Woodruff and Monroe Counties, Arkansas – Acquire and restore 180 of bottomland wetlands that will allow the Service to provide a block of contiguous seasonally-flooded forestland managed for waterfowl and other migratory birds. 

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Ocean County, New Jersey -- Protect 243 acres of wetlands and upland fringes, the last natural open space on the northern portion of Barnegat Bay.  The area provides essential migratory habitat for waterfowl and passerine birds species, as well as several state-listed endangered and threatened bird species. 

Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, Coos County, New Hampshire -- Protect 162 acres of northern forest wetland and nesting habitat for several species of waterfowl such as the American black duck, wood duck, mallard, hooded merganser, blue-winged teal, and ring-necked duck. 

Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge, Lauderdale and Tipton counties, Tennessee – Protect 866 acres that support large concentrations of wintering waterfowl such as mallards and northern pintails and provides stopover habitat for several species of migrating shorebirds.     

San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, Brazoria County, Texas -- Acquire 288 acres for protection of a wetland complex that provides winter, migration, and resident habitat for waterfowl, wading birds and neotropical migratory birds. 

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.  Information about the NAWCA grants programs are available at: http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/index.shtm.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Southwest Region will join conservation organizations and other supporters of wildlife to celebrate the first day of sale of the 2010 Federal Duck Stamp at 10 a.m. Friday, June 25 at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Fremont, Calif.  Officials from the Service, Ducks Unlimited, Audubon California, California Waterfowl Association and others will speak on the importance of conserving wetlands and upland habitat for waterfowl, migratory birds and other wildlife. 

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

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