News Release

More Than $15 Million In Coastal Grants Will Go To 12 States, Interior Secretary Announces

January 6, 2006

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Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will award more than $15 million in grants to 12 states to help conserve, restore and protect coastal wetlands, Interior Secretary Gale Norton announced today.

States included in fiscal year 2006 under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program include Alabama, Alaska, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas and Washington.

The grants provide funding for 19 projects and will be supplemented with more than $12 million from state and private partners. The grants are used to acquire, restore or enhance coastal wetlands for long-term conservation benefits to wildlife and habitat. Partners in this years projects include state and local governments, private landowners and conservation groups such as The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, Scenic Galveston , Inc., Wildlife Forever Foundation, and many others.

"When people at so many different levels come together in these kinds of projects, everybody wins," Norton said. "This is the kind of effort that makes it possible for us to leave a real legacy for our children and grandchildren."

National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grants are awarded to states through a competitive process. The program is funded under provisions of the 1990 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act, with money generated from excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat and small engine fuels.

"These are win-win projects," said Service Director Dale Hall. "Im very excited when were able to leverage the taxpayer dollar with our partners and get a lot more value for the money."

Including the 2006 grants, the Service has awarded more than $165 million in grants to states and insular areas since the program began; when the 2006 projects are complete, they will have protected, restored or enhanced about 14,000 acres. A total of more than 200,000 acres will have been protected or restored since the grant program began.

For more information, contact the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203, or Division of Federal Assistance, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 , or visit the programs home page at http://www.fws.gov/coastal/CoastalGrants/.

Information contained in older news items may be outdated. These materials are made available as historical archival information only. Individual contacts have been replaced with general External Affairs office information. No other updates have been made to the information and we do not guarantee current accuracy or completeness.


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