For Immediate Release
May 21, 2013
Valerie R. Redmond 612-713-5316
Barbara Jones (612) 713-5433
Federal Wetlands Act Grants Deliver Big for Critical Wetland Habitats in Minnesota and Wisconsin
Wilson's phalarope on a cropped wetland. Photo by Rex Johnson/USFWS.
Minnesota and Wisconsin will benefit from more than $3.38 million in federal funding. The grants were awarded through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and announced on May 15 by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. This critical funding will be used to protect, restore, acquire or enhance thousands of acres of wildlife habitat for the benefit of shared migratory bird populations in the area. Scores of waterfowl, shorebirds, landbirds, marsh birds, and other wetland-dependent species will be impacted as a result.
“Wetlands are valuable assets,” commented U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius, “yet they are disappearing at an alarming rate. This funding underscores our commitment to protect the landscape for the benefit of the American people.”
This year’s grants and matching funds will benefit hundreds of species in the Midwest.
Grantee Pheasants Forever, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary, will receive $1 million for its project: “Southwest Wetland Initiative of Minnesota.” This project will acquire and restore high priority prairie pothole habitat in degraded areas of southwest Minnesota, benefiting both waterfowl and grassland birds.
Grantee Ducks Unlimited, Inc. received $2.38 million in funding for three projects:
- “Glaciated Wetlands and Prairies of ND and MN - III, North Dakota and Minnesota”
- “Green Bay - Marquette Coastal, Wisconsin”
- “Wisconsin Northwest Pothole Habitat Initiative Phase VI, Wisconsin”
These projects will:
- Protect critical wetland and grassland habitat for migratory birds in the region, using a landscape approach.
- Protect, restore, and enhance 3,108 acres of critical wetland habitat in portions of the Lake Michigan watershed.
- Protect, restore, and enhance a variety of habitat types, with an emphasis on decreasing wetlands and adjacent uplands threatened by development and urban sprawl, respectively.
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act is the only federal grant program dedicated to the conservation of wetland habitats for migratory birds. Through the Act’s U.S. Standard grants program, 3,300 partners have been involved in 910 projects affecting more than 7 million acres of habitat. More information about the U.S. Standard projects approved is available at: http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/Standard/US/2013_March.shtm
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