FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 9, 2009
Ashley Spratt (612) 713-5314
$6 Million for Wetland Conservation in Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius announced today that the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission voted to approve more than $6 million in federal funding and more than $12 million in matching grants for wetland conservation in Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
“The projects to be funded in the Midwest Region will directly benefit wetlands and wetland wildlife, from our Great Lakes’ watersheds to the lower Mississippi River Valley,” Melius said. “These grants provide an opportunity for us to work closely with our valued partners to support on-the-ground conservation in our Region.”
The federal government has now made more than $1 billion in grants under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act of 1989, according to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, helping to conserve or restore more than 25.4 million acres of wetlands and associated habitat across the continent over the past two decades. The milestone was passed when the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission voted to approve $33.4 million in matching grants to conserve 190,000 acres of wetlands across the nation. Under the Act, the funds will be matched or exceeded by private contributions.
“Today we mark an historic milestone in for what is not only one of our nation’s most effective conservation laws but also one of its most effective conservation partnerships,” Salazar, who serves as chair of the commission, said. “While the federal government has made more than $1 billion in grants, our partners have contributed more than $2 billion in matching funds to conserve, enhance, and restore vital wetlands that provide critical habitat for fish and wildlife.”
Projects to be funded in the Midwest include:
Southeastern Lake Michigan Coastal Habitat Project
This project focuses on wetland and associated upland habitat conservation in the southeastern Lake Michigan watershed. It targets protection, restoration, and enhancement of waterfowl breeding habitat within the coastal zone, expansion of nature preserves, and restoration of private wetlands and nearby uplands important for waterfowl production and other wildlife.
Grantee: Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Matching Funds: $1,979,451
Nonmatching/Other Federal Funds: $117,414
Border Prairie Wetlands in Minnesota
The Border Prairie Wetlands project will accelerate protection of tallgrass prairies, prairie wetlands and the diverse plants and animals these habitats support.
Grantee: Pheasant Forever, Inc.
Matching Funds: $2,001,594
Nonmatching/Other Federal Funds: $409,000
Prairies in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota
This project will provide protection of grassland and wetland habitats, focusing primarily on recognizing the quality of habitat remaining on the northern portions of the Prairie Coteau landscape in northeast South Dakota. The habitat preserved by this project will not only provide direct benefits to waterfowl, but also to numerous species of shorebirds, wading birds, marsh birds, other wetland-dependent wildlife species, grassland songbirds and other grassland-dependent wildlife species.
Grantee: Northern Prairies Land Trust
Matching Funds: $1,107,128
Nonmatching/Other Federal Funds: $48,000
Mingo Basin in Missouri
The Mingo Basin is an important core wintering and migratory area for waterfowl and migratory landbirds. The Mingo Basin Partnership Project Phase I project will restore palustrine emergent and palustrine forested wetlands, and restore a natural flow of floodwaters between pools at Duck Creek Conservation Area and Mingo National Wildlife Refuge.
Grantee: Missouri Department of Conservation
Matching Funds: $2,270,582
Nonmatching/Other Federal Funds: $14,500
Des Moines River Valley Wetlands in Iowa
This project will support the protection and enhancement of two of the largest wetland habitat complexes in the state of Iowa: Pool 19 on the Mississippi River and Red Rock Reservoir on the Des Moines River. Both areas are known for hosting large numbers of waterfowl and diverse assemblages of shorebirds, herons, rails, and other waterbirds during both spring and fall migration.
Grantee: Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Matching Funds: $3,549,100
Upper Iowa Prairie Pothole Region
This project will protect, restore and enhance critical wetland and upland habitat in the northern portion of Iowa’s Prairie Pothole Region. Protected, restored and enhanced acres will provide critical breeding and migration habitat for species such as the northern pintail, mallard, American black duck, and lesser and greater scaup.
Grantee: Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Matching Funds: $2,005,500
Nonmatching/Other Federal Funds: $722,400
Wetlands provide many ecological, economic, and social benefits, including habitat for fish, wildlife, and a variety of plants. They serve as nurseries for many saltwater and freshwater fishes and shellfish of commercial and recreational importance. Wetlands also hold and slowly release flood waters, act as filters to cleanse water of impurities, and provide recreational and wildlife viewing opportunities for millions of people.
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 as ex officio members who vote on projects located within their respective states.
The $33.4 million in grants approved today will support 34 projects in 24 states under NAWCA’s U.S. Standard Grants Program. Partners in these projects will contribute an additional $89.3 million in matching funds to support these conservation efforts.
Grants are funded by annual Congressional appropriations; fines, penalties and forfeitures levied under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; interest accrued on funds under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act; and excise taxes paid on small engine fuels through the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Fund.
Passed in 1989, NAWCA provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The Act was passed in part to support activities under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an international agreement that provides a strategy for the long-term protection of wetlands and associated upland habitats needed by waterfowl and other migratory birds in North America.
More information about NAWCA grant programs and the NAWCA projects approved today is available on http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/grants/NAWCA/index.shtm.
Additional information about the history of the ongoing efforts to conserve North America’s wetlands and waterfowl can be found at Flyways.us. The website provides waterfowl enthusiasts, biologists and agency administrators with the most up-to-date waterfowl habitat and waterfowl population information.
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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