News Release

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Announces Grants to Protect Coastal Wetlands Across the Nation

December 17, 2008

Contact:

Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220
Website: https://www.fws.gov/external-affairs/public-affairs/



H. Dale Hall, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announced today that twenty-five conservation projects benefiting fish and wildlife on more than 13,543 acres of coastal habitat in twelve States will be funded with $20.1 million from 2009 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program.

The grants will be used to acquire, restore or enhance coastal wetlands and adjacent uplands to provide long-term conservation benefits to fish, wildlife and their habitat. States receiving funds include Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. These federal grants will be matched by nearly $27 million in partner contributions from state and local governments, private landowners and conservation groups.

"Coastal wetlands provide valuable habitat for many fish and wildlife species, help keep our oceans cleaner, and serve as buffers to protect coastal communities from storms and flooding" Hall said. "These grants are a part of the Services larger Coastal Program, which uses a voluntary approach to habitat conservation. By providing financial and technical assistance to our partners, the Coastal Program enlists their help in conserving coastal areas threatened by development and predicted sea-level rise resulting from climate change." 

One of the projects supported by the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program this year is an effort by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to acquire the 1,209-acre Murff Tract located along the Altamaha River adjacent to the Altamaha Rayonier Natural Area. This tract is considered the largest, most ecologically intact, and most important unprotected area in the lower Altamaha River watershed.   The Nature Conservancy has designated the lower Altamaha River watershed as one of the "Last Great Places" because of the diverse natural communities and rare plants and animals that occur there.

The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and funded under provisions of the 1990 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act, drawing from Sport Fish Restoration Act revenue -- money generated from an excise tax on fishing equipment and motorboat and small engine fuels. 

Including the 2009 grants, the Service has awarded more than $220 million to coastal states and territories since the program began in 1992. When the 2009 projects are complete, nearly 258,000 acres of habitat will have been protected, restored or enhanced. 

Projects funded by the 2009 grant program include:

Alaska

Conservation Grant Acreage

Grant Amount

Nushagak Bay Watershed Conservation

Campbell Creek Estuary Phase I

California

Conservation Grant Acreage

Grant Amount

South San Diego Bay Coastal Wetland Restoration and Enhancement

Lower Redwood Creek Wetland Restoration

Connecticut

Conservation Grant Acreage

Grant Amount

Addition to East River Marsh and Wildlife Management Area

 Florida

Conservation Grant Acreage

Grant Amount

Restoration of Dragline Ditched Coastal Wetlands in Valusa County ? Phase I

Georgia

Conservation Grant Acreage

Grant Amount

Murff Tract Acquisition Project ? Phase I

Maine

Conservation Grant Acreage

Grant Amount

Grain Point Wetlands Conservation

Mason Bay Wetlands Conservation

Upper Maquoit Bay Coastal Wetlands

Kennebec Estuary Robinhood Cove Project

New Jersey

Conservation Grant Acreage

Grant Amount

Durham Farm Property

Oregon

Conservation Grant Acreage

Grant Amount

North Nehalem Bay Wetlands Conservation

Bott's Marsh Nehalem Estuarine Wetlands Acquisition

Texas

Conservation Grant Acreage

Grant Amount

Swan Lake Ranch Conservation Easement

Virginia

Conservation Grant Acreage

Grant Amount

Acquisition of Crows Nest Phase II

Washington

Conservation Grant Acreage

Grant Amount

Dutcher Cove ? Sewell Property Acquisition

Lower Eld Inlet Acquisition ? Phase II

Lynch Cove Acquisition

Hoquiam Surge Plain Acquisition Project ? Phase I

Lily Point Acquisition ? Phase II, Pt. Roberts, WA

Twin Rivers Estuary Acquisition

Harstene ? Scott Property Acquisition

Kiket Island, Deception Pass State Park Expansion

Wisconsin

Conservation Grant Acreage

Grant Amount

Baileys Harbor State Natural Areas Coastal Wetlands Land Acquisition

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.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

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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