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CVA grants fund both traditional on-dock pump-outs and mobile pump-out boats that travel in designated harbors to make the collection of on-board waste more efficient and convenient, and ensure cleaner waters. Credit: NOAA Fisheries
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Service Awards $16.6 Million in Grants to Support Recreational Boating and Clean Water in 21 States

July 24, 2014

A total of $16.6 million in grants will be awarded to 21 states under the Clean Vessel Act program. Funds for the program are provided annually from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which is maintained through the collection of fishing tackle manufacturer excise taxes and boat and fishing import duties, as well as motorboat and small engine fuel taxes. "Clean water is a fundamental need for both people and wildlife, and a perfect example of how the fates of both are intertwined," said Service Director Dan Ashe. 

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Information on the Grants »»

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CVA grants fund both traditional on-dock pump-outs and mobile pump-out boats that travel in designated harbors to make the collection of on-board waste more efficient and convenient, and ensure cleaner waters. Credit: NOAA Fisheries
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Video outlines a $1.65 million beach habitat restoration project along the shores of Delaware Bay that is already benefiting native horseshoe crabs and migrating shorebirds. Credit: Credit: USFWS
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Coastal Communities, Wildlife Rebound After Hurricane Sandy

July 23, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has launched the first in a series of videos highlighting communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy and their journey toward recovery. This first video outlines a $1.65 million beach habitat restoration project along the shores of Delaware Bay that will benefit native horseshoe crabs and migrating shorebirds. At the same time, the project will help local communities like Middle Township, New Jersey, whose Mayor Tim Donohue describes how strengthening natural defenses will also protect homes and support the area's ecotourism industry. The beach restoration project is among 31 resilience projects managed by the Service and supported by funding from the Department of the Interior through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013.

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FWS Hurricane Sandy Recovery website »»

Video outlines a $1.65 million beach habitat restoration project along the shores of Delaware Bay that is already benefiting native horseshoe crabs and migrating shorebirds. Credit: Credit: USFWS
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Dove hunters. Credit: George Andrejko / AZGFD
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Dove Hunter Survey Results Provide Valuable Insights to Help Sustain Dove Hunting for the Long Term

July 22, 2014

Results from a first-of-its-kind survey of the nation’s mourning dove hunters were released today by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), National Flyway Council and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The survey, in which more than 12,000 dove hunters from around the country participated, will provide wildlife and natural resources managers with information to help them effectively manage and conserve this migratory bird species into the future.

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Dove hunters. Credit: George Andrejko / AZGFD
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Young visitors looks at a snake held by a refuge biologist at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: Andrea Brophy / USFWS
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Refuge Rangers Fight Myths about Creepy Crawlies and Other Wildlife

July 17, 2014

In the course of greeting tens of thousands of visitors a year, rangers on national wildlife refuges bump up against a few fears. They've noticed, today's visitors tend to live more indoor lives than past generations and fears of nature are flourishing – in all ages. And it's not just snakes. Other wild creatures inspire exaggerated fears, too: bats; spiders; birds; fish – yes, fish. To help anxious visitors, refuge staffers have some proven tactics.

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Young visitors looks at a snake held by a refuge biologist at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: Andrea Brophy / USFWS
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Refuge staff fishing with kids at Erie National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania. Credit: USFWS
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Enjoy Great Recreation and Events at a National Wildlife Refuge!

July 17, 2014

Summer is a great time to discover what national wildlife refuges have to offer. Enjoy splendid kayaking or fishing. Try a guided hike or a bird walk. Or choose from a host of other family-friendly events. Come away wowed. Visit a refuge and learn how the National Wildlife Refuge System is protecting your natural heritage.

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Refuge staff fishing with kids at Erie National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania. Credit: USFWS
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“Having a close encounter with a bobcat was by far my most memorable event ever” at Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge, says volunteer Steve Gifford, who took a series of photos of this animal. A short video of that encounter is at http://bit.ly/1uXr8wf. Credit: Courtesy of Steve Gifford
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Refuge Volunteer Captures the Essence of a National Wildlife Refuge

July 17, 2014

As a volunteer and Friend for most of the past decade at Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge in Indiana, Steve Gifford has assisted with marsh bird surveys, least tern-nest monitoring, trail clearing, invasive plant control, prescribed burns and presentations. But his extraordinary photography is what stands out. Read this and other stories in the July/August issue of Refuge Update

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“Having a close encounter with a bobcat was by far my most memorable event ever” at Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge, says volunteer Steve Gifford, who took a series of photos of this animal. A short video of that encounter is at http://bit.ly/1uXr8wf. Credit: Courtesy of Steve Gifford
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At-risk species such as the southern Idaho ground squirrel could benefit from voluntary conservation actions undertaken under the proposed Prelisting Conservation Policy Credit: Dennis Mackey / USFWS
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Policy Proposed to Benefit At-Risk Wildlife, Provide Credits to Landowners Taking Voluntary Conservation Actions

July 17, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed a new policy that would give landowners credit for voluntary conservation actions for at-risk species. Under the policy, landowners could obtain credits for current efforts that benefit declining species. These conservation credits could later be redeemed to offset or mitigate actions that are detrimental to a species were it to subsequently be listed under the Act. The credits could also be traded or sold to a third party.

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Q&As »»

At-risk species such as the southern Idaho ground squirrel could benefit from voluntary conservation actions undertaken under the proposed Prelisting Conservation Policy Credit: Dennis Mackey / USFWS
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Condor #9 is the mother of the new California condor chick in in Zion National Park. Credit: Credit: NPS
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California Condors Raising Chick in Utah

July 17, 2014

A California condor chick is growing up in Zion National Park in Utah, biologists say, the first condor chick hatched in the state since the last condors were taken into captivity more than 25 years ago. Last month, biologists noted that a pair of California condors was acting in a family way. Weeks later, the chick made an appearance. The California condor is an amazing success of the Endangered Species Act. The population of condors had declined to just 22 birds in the wild in 1982, and the species was extirpated from the wild in 1987. Captive-breeding efforts mean the wild population is now more than 230.

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Condor #9 is the mother of the new California condor chick in in Zion National Park. Credit: Credit: NPS
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Species of conservation need such as the New England cottontail (pictured), wood turtle and several species of bat will benefit from this year's competitive State Wildlife Grants. Credit: Credit: USFWS
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Service Provides $5.6 Million in Grants to 12 States for Conservation Projects

July 17, 2014

Imperiled species will benefit from a total of $5.6 million for 16 projects in 12 states through the Service's competitive State Wildlife Grants program. The grants, which focus on large-scale conservation projects for species identified by states as Species of Greatest Conservation Need, will be matched by more than $2.9 million in non-federal funds from states and their partners. The 12 states receiving grants are AZ, CO, ID, IA, KY, MA, ME, MI, MN, NE, SC, and WA.

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List of Funded Projects »»

Learn more about The Service's Grants Programs » »»

Species of conservation need such as the New England cottontail (pictured), wood turtle and several species of bat will benefit from this year's competitive State Wildlife Grants. Credit: Credit: USFWS
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Cover of the Considering Multiple Futures: Scenario Planning to Address Uncertainty in Natural Resource Conservation. Credit: USFWS
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New Guide Helps Conservationists Address Uncertain Futures

July 15, 2014

A new guide from the Fish and Wildlife Service and Wildlife Conservation Society will help natural resource professionals address long-term, burgeoning threats such as climate change. Entitled, Considering Multiple Futures: Scenario Planning to Address Uncertainty in Natural Resource Conservation, the guide explains the core elements of scenario planning and includes 12 case studies that represent a variety of approaches for natural resource conservation.  

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Cover of the Considering Multiple Futures: Scenario Planning to Address Uncertainty in Natural Resource Conservation. Credit: USFWS
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Service Director Dan Ashe (right) purchases the first 2014-15 Duck Stamp from Gerald Roane, U.S Postmaster, Washington, D.C. Credit: USFWS
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New Federal and Junior Duck Stamps Now on Sale

July 7, 2014

Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe purchased the first 2014-2015 Federal Duck Stamp today as the nation's most unique and successful conservation stamp went on sale. This year's stamp features a pair of canvasbacks, while the winning Junior Duck Stamp is graced by a king eider. Since 1934, Federal Duck Stamp sales have raised more than $850 million to acquire and protect more than 6 million acres of wetlands habitat on national wildlife refuges.

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Service Director Dan Ashe (right) purchases the first 2014-15 Duck Stamp from Gerald Roane, U.S Postmaster, Washington, D.C. Credit: USFWS
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Wetlands come in all sizes and shapes and serve different purposes. Credit: USFWS
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Report Shows Declining Trend in Prairie Pothole Wetlands

July 7, 2014

Wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region, a key breeding area for waterfowl, declined by an estimated 74,340 acres between 1997 and 2009 – an average annual loss of 6,200 acres, a report indicates. Development and conversion to agricultural uses are among the chief threats to the region. The Fish and Wildlife Service is working to protect the Prairie Pothole Region through a series of actions including the Prairies Conservation Campaign.

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Prairies Conservation Campaign »»

Wetlands come in all sizes and shapes and serve different purposes. Credit: USFWS
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A mixed flock of waterfowl takes flight at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS
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North American Duck Populations Remain Strong, Wetland Pond Conditions Good, According to 2014 Duck Breeding Populations Survey

July 7, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced the release of the Trends in Duck Breeding Populations 2014 report, which details this year's results of the annual Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey. The survey estimated an overall duck population of 49.2 million birds, an increase of 8 percent over last year's estimate and 43 percent above the long-term average. While concerns over the long-term decline in natural wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region persist, wetland habitat conditions in the duck survey area, which included both natural and artificial ponds expected to maintain water into the summer, were mostly improved or similar to last year due to average to above-average precipitation. 

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A mixed flock of waterfowl takes flight at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS
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Wood storks are colonial nesters and prefer trees where birds have already built nests. Credit: Becky Skiba / USFWS
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Wood Stork Down-listing Offers Another Conservation Success Story

July 2, 2014

After 30 years of conservation and recovery work, the Fish and Wildlife Service is down-listing the wood stork from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today. When protected in 1984, the bird's population was sinking fast, but efforts by the Service, Southern states, tribes, conservation groups and other stakeholders have restored vital habitat and helped the species double its population since its original listing.

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Wood storks are colonial nesters and prefer trees where birds have already built nests. Credit: Becky Skiba / USFWS
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SC3 students remove non-native plants from Town Run at Morgan's Grove Park. Credit: NCTC / USFWS
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Service Shares Conservation Know-How with Young People

July 2, 2014

As part of its commitment to engage young people and prepare the next generation of conservation leaders, the Fish and Wildlife Service has joined forces with the Green Schools Alliance to host the National Student Climate and Conservation Congress (SC3) this week. Through classes, discussions with conservation leaders and scientists, and outdoor projects, SC3 is giving more than 100 high school students conservation leadership skills, an understanding of conservation career opportunities and awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities.

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Green Schools Alliance »»

SC3 students remove non-native plants from Town Run at Morgan's Grove Park. Credit: NCTC / USFWS
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