Many of us already are aware of how strongly the health of threatened and endangered species is linked to our own well-being. Clean air and water, recreational activities, and livelihoods are dependent on habitats that sustain these species. So how can we ensure a healthy future for our community and protect treasured landscapes for future generations?
The task may be large, but it is a shared responsibility, as the fish, wildlife and plants across America belong to everyone.
We have a number of creative tools for actively engage states and landowners to find improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover threatened and endangered species in cost-effective ways.
What is an example of one of those tools?
This year, more than $53 million in grants through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF), section 6 of the Endangered Species Act will go to 17 states.
The state then works with private landowners, conservation groups, and other agencies to plan for acquisition and conservation of vital habitat for threatened and endangered fish, wildlife, and plants.
Take Maryland, for example. Landowners on the Chesapeake Bay will partner with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy to protect more than 450 acres of cliff and shoreline habitat through one of these grants amounting to $2.4 million – and this will help recover and protect the threatened Puritan tiger beetle.
Maryland DNR will purchase permanent conservation easements on several properties to allow for permanent protection of shoreline and cliff habitat.
One of the privately owned properties actually belongs to the Girl Scouts at Camp Grove Neck, who have acted as caretakers for the Puritan tiger beetle population there. Thousands of girls have gotten hands-on education about the history and importance of the beetle as well as other Chesapeake Bay wildlife, and they’re excited for the opportunity to be good stewards of the camp.
Thanks to these effective grants like the one out in Maryland, we can help find creative solutions to drive the conservation and recovery of listed species. In the next few weeks we’ll be highlighting a few individual of these habitat plans that will help species ranging from the Peninsular bighorn sheep to the Karner blue butterfly.