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Cooperative Coastal Wetlands Conservation Efforts Get $17 Million Boost


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 10, 2003

Contact:
Hugh Vickery, DOI, 202-501-4633
Mike Groutt,
FWS-AL, 251-441-6630
Bert Byers,
FWS-FL, 772-562-3909
Jennifer Koches,
FWS-SC, 843-727-4707


Interior Secretary Gale Norton announced today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will award nearly $17 million in grants to ten states to conserve, restore and protect coastal wetlands. States awarded grants for fiscal year 2004 under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program are Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

The grants, which provide funding for 20 projects, will be awarded through the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant program and will be supplemented by more than $42 million from state and private partners. The Service makes yearly matching grants to coastal states and U.S. territories for projects involving the acquisition, restoration or enhancement of coastal wetlands. Projects are administered for long-term conservation benefits to wildlife and habitat.

"If conservation is going to succeed in the 21st century, it must be a partnership between the American people and the government," said Interior Secretary Gale Norton. "The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant program has a proven track record of working with states, communities and private landowners to ensure our nations natural resources are passed on to future generations. This is the focus of the Administrations environmental policy.

Partners in this year's Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants projects include state natural resources agencies, Native American tribes and trusts, county and local governments, private landowners, and conservation groups such as Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy.

To date, the Service has awarded more than $139 million in grants to 25 states and one U.S. territory under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program. When the 2004 grants projects are complete, they will have protected and/or restored more than 19,000 acres; about 167,000 acres will have been protected or restored since the wetlands grant program began in 1990.

National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grants are awarded through a competitive process. The program is one of three conservation efforts funded by the 1990 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act. Funding for the program is generated from excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat and small engine fuels. These taxes are deposited into the Sport Fish Restoration Account of the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund (commonly called Wallop-Breaux after its Congressional sponsors).

For more information about the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants program 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 Aid, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203; or check the program's Internet home page at http://www.fws.gov/cep/cwgcover.html.

Descriptions of the 2004 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant projects follow.



Fiscal Year 2004 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Project Proposals

ALABAMA
Perdido River Estuary Wetlands. Alabama’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will acquire 960 acres of coastal wetlands and associated uplands in Baldwin County. This land will become part of a conservation corridor of protected lands in the Perdido River Watershed.
Partner: The Nature Conservancy of Alabama.
Coastal grant request: $1,000,000
State share: $1,294,065
Partner share: $ 5,000

Total cost:

$2,299,065

ALASKA
Afognak Coastal Protection Project, Phase II. Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources will acquire 2,100 acres of land on the north coast of Afognak Island. Acquisition of these lands will link state and Federal protected lands, and preserve important habitats for an array of sea birds, sea ducks, anadromous fish, raptors, brown bears, and elk. Northern Afognak’s coastline also provides feeding, pupping, and calving habitat for 14 species of marine mammals.
Partners: Paul Allen Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, American Land Conservancy, and the Kodiak Brown Bear Trust.
Coastal grant request: $1,000,000
Partner share: $1,547,000

Total cost:

$2,547,300
Gustavus Land Legacy Project: Phase II. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will purchase 676 acres along the Salmon River and extending east to the Glacier Bay National Park boundary.
Partners: The Nature Conservancy, Gustavus Land Legacy, and Ducks Unlimited.
Coastal grant request: $1,000,000
Partners share: $ 450,000

Total cost:

$1,400,000

Nushagak Bay Watershed Conservation. Alaskas Department of Natural Resources will acquire conservation easements on 7,000 acres along the entire length of the 4-mile long Agulowak River and extensive shoreline along Lake Aleknagik and Lake Nerka. This project is part of a regional effort to protect anadromous fish habitat in southwest Alaska.

Partners: The Conservation Fund and the Nushagak-Mulchatna Wood-Tikchik Land Trust.
Coastal grant request: $1,000,000
State share: $ 40,000
Partner share: $ 682,500

Total cost:

$1,722,500

 

CONNECTICUT
Barn Island Wildlife Management Area Acquisition. Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection will acquire 144 acres of an important marsh and upland forest-wetland edge adjacent to the States Barn Island Wildlife Management Area. Located in the easternmost portion of Connecticut, the streams in the project area feed into the Long Island Sound Estuary. A major benefit of this project would be the buffering of an existing 40-year restoration effort in the Wildlife Management Area from additional contamination and hydrologic modification. This acquisition, added to the existing Wildlife Management Area, would create the States largest protected coastal land holding.
Partners: The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut Waterfowl Association, New Haven Bird Club, Connecticut Wetlands Restoration Partnership, Town of Stonington, Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, and the Hartford Audubon Society.
Coastal grant request: $1,000,000
State share: $1,319,400
Partner share: $ 184,600

Total cost:

$2,504,000

 

FLORIDA
Indian River Lagoon. Floridas Department of Environmental Protection will acquire 105 acres of diverse habitat on the mainland edge of the Indian River Lagoon Estuary in St Lucie County. Long-term protection of this site will provide habitat for species that use scrub, moist hardwoods, and coastal marsh.
Partner: St. Lucie County.
Coastal grant request: $ 367,500
State share: $1,102,500
Partner share: $ 70,000

Total cost:

$1,540,000

 

MASSACHUETTS
Quivet Marsh/Crowes Pasture Acquisition. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management will protect 386 acres with perpetual conservation easements on wetlands and adjacent uplands on the north shore of Cape Cod within the Towns of Dennis and Brewster. This area is designated as part of the Federal Coastal Barrier Resources System and is the largest remaining area of unprotected, undeveloped land on the Cape Cod coast.
Partners: Town of Brewster, Town of Dennis, The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Brewster Conservation Trust, Dennis Conservation Trust, Save the Crowe, Association for the Preservation of Cape Cod, Orenda Wildlife Land Trust, and two private landowners.
Coastal grant request: $1,000,000
State share: $ 500,000
Partner share: $6,267,750

Total cost:

$7,767,750
Sandy Neck/Barnstable Marsh Barrier Beach System Land Acquisition and Restoration. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, in cooperation with the State’s Division of Marine Fisheries and the Massachusetts Wetlands Restoration Partnership, will purchase conservation restrictions on 75 acres of barrier beach frontage within the Sandy Neck Barrier Beach wetland complex bordering the north shore of Cape Cod. The towns of Sandwich and Barnstable will ultimately purchase the property. In addition, they will restore 40 acres of tidal saltmarsh by replacing an undersized culvert under a State highway to improve tidal exchange. The project site is in a State-designated Area of Critical Environmental Concern because it provides exceptional habitat for a diverse array of species. In conjunction with the project, the Barnstable Land Trust and the town of Sandwich will grant conservation restrictions to the state on an additional 244 acres.
Partners: Town of Barnstable, Town of Sandwich, The Nature Conservancy, Barnstable Land Trust, Massachusetts Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Coastal grant request: $1,000,000
State share: $ 208,741
Partner share: $ 809,062

Total cost:

$2,017,803

 

NEW JERSEY

Cheesequake Marsh Acquisition. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will acquire 234.5 acres in Middlesex County adjacent to Raritan Bay and 3.6 miles from New York City. A large number of migratory and wintering waterfowl depend on Raritan Bay mid-winter concentrations of waterfowl have average over 60,000 birds over the past 20 years. This parcel will be added to the existing 1,359-acre Cheesequake State Park.

Partners: American Littoral Society and the National Estuarine Research Reserve Program.
Coastal grant request: $ 999,000
State share: $3,000,000
Partner share: $1,001,000

Total cost:

$5,000,000

 

SOUTH CAROLINA

Protection of Maritime Forest, Islands and Hummocks in the Kaiwah River Environs. The Department of Natural Resources will purchase 4 acres and protect by conservation easements 1,111 acres of islands, dunes and wetlands in and near the Kiawah River in Charleston County. The project area falls within the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture Focus Area and addresses the objectives of 4 major migratory bird plans.

Partners: Kiawah Island Natural Habitat Conservancy, Kiawah Resort Associates, and Orange Hill Plantation, LLC.
Coastal grant request: $1,000,000
Partner share: $7,203,670

Total cost:

$8,203,670

 

TEXAS

Acquisition and Restoration of Egery Flats. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will acquire approximately 924 acres of wetland and adjacent upland habitats along the Egery Flats of Copano Bay. The project will provide feeding habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds, including brown pelicans and peregrine falcons, as well as provide nursery habitat for shrimp, blue crabs, red drum, spotted seatrout and flounder.

Partners: Texas Coastal Coordination Council and private landowners.
Coastal grant request: $148,180
Partner share: $326,250

Total cost:

$574,430
Protection and Restoration of Starvation Cove. Texas Parks and Wildlife, together with the Texas General Land Office, will acquire 100 acres, restore 10 acres of estuarine intertidal marsh, plant 1 acre of seagrass, and protect 451.7 acres by construction of a geotube breakwater in the Starvation Cove area of Galveston Bay. This project will protect and restore biological functions critical to the barrier island ecosystem, including shorebird nesting habitat.
Partners: Trust for Public Land, Reliant Energy, Galveston Bay Foundation, Galveston Bay Estuary Program, Spanish Grant Homeowner’s Association, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Coastal Program.
Coastal grant request: $954,000
State share: $410,000
Partners share: $216,500

Total cost:

$1,580,500

 

VIRGINIA

Game Farm Marsh Wetland Acquisition. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will acquire 103 acres of forested wetlands and associated open water and emergent wetland habitat on the Chickahominy River, a tributary of the James River. The site includes undisturbed old growth timber and is in close proximity to the existing State Game Farm Marsh Wildlife Management Area. Purchase of this property will increase public access for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and boating.

Partners: The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia.
Coastal grant request: $ 175,000
State share: $ 215,000
Partner share: $ 10,000

Total cost:

$ 400,000
Protection of Crows Nest, Stafford County, Virginia. Virginias Department of Conservation and Recreation will purchase 1,500 acres in Stafford County on the Crows Nest peninsula, which is bounded by Accokeek and Potomac Creeks. The Crows Nest peninsula is home to 2 nesting pairs of bald eagle. It is also home to one of the largest heron rookeries in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This area will be protected in perpetuity as a State Natural Area Preserve.
Partners: Stafford County, The Nature Conservancy, the Conservation Fund, and the Trust for Crows Nest.
Coastal grant request: $1,000,000
State share: $5,000,000
Partner share: $4,000,000

Total cost:

$10,000,000


WASHINGTON

Deadman Slough Acquisition and Restoration Project. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, in cooperation with the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, will purchase 243 acres and restore 353 acres of estuarine marsh near the mouth of the Snohomish River. The project will provide nursery habitat for several species of salmon, as well as wintering habitat for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds.

Partners: The Cascade Land Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, and the Pacific Coast Joint Venture.
Coastal grant request: $1,000,000
State share: $400,000
Partner share: $373,000

Total cost:

$1,773,000
Dungeness Estuarine Wetlands Project. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, in cooperation with the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, will acquire and permanently conserve several coastal wetlands properties in the lower 1.5 miles of the Dungeness River and Meadowbrook Creek systems. Approximately 50 acres will be purchased with this project, which will provide habitat essential to several salmon species, migratory birds, shorebirds and also to the rare Taylors checkerspot butterfly.
Partners: Jamestown SKlallam Tribe, Clallam County, Ducks Unlimited, Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge Coordinated Volunteer Program, Puget Consumers Coop, Dungeness River Center, Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society, and the North Olympic Land Trust.
Coastal grant request: $987,500
State share: $414,500
Partner share: $35,106

Total cost:

$1,437,196
Lower Sequim Bay Estuary Acquisition and Restoration. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will acquire 8 acres of coastal wetlands and restore an additional 7 acres of wetland habitat,completing an ongoing restoration effort affecting about 156 acres of coastal wetlands. The project will benefit chinook and chum salmon, as well as migratory birds such as the greater yellowlegs, black oystercatcher, and rock sandpipers.
Partners: Clallam County, the Clallam County Conservation District, the Jamestown SKlallam Tribe, Clallam County Streamkeepers, Dungeness River Audubon Center, and the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society.
Coastal grant request: $998,900
State share: $685,000
Partners share: $133,000

Total cost:

$1,816,900
Qwuloolt Project:Phase III Acquisition. The Washington State Department of Ecology will acquire approximately 36 acres of wetlands within the Snohomish River delta. This acquisition will provide the final properties necessary to restore 390 acres of estuarine wetlands and access to a coastal stream currently blocked to salmon and other fish. The completed project will provide nursery habitat for chinook and other salmon species, and bull trout, as well as providing resting and feeding habitat for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds.
Partners: Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees, Pacific Coast Joint Venture, Tulalip Tribes, City of Marysville, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Coastal grant request: $322,500
Partners share: $327,500

Total cost:

$650,000
South Padilla Bay Acquisition and Restoration. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, in cooperation with the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, will acquire and restore approximately 440 acres of estuarine wetlands along the south end of Padilla Bay, within the Puget Sound ecosystem of northwest Washington. The project will provide nursery habitat for several species of salmon, as well as provide foraging areas for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds during their annual migrations.
Partners: Skagit County, Ducks Unlimited, and the Pacific Coast Joint Venture.
Coastal grant request: $1,000,000
State share: $100,000
Partners share: $520,000

Total cost:

$1,620,000
Willapa/Cedar River Acquisition. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will purchase 475 acres of wetlands in the Cedar River Estuary and restore the habitat for wintering shorebirds. In addition to providing improved resting and feeding habitat for several species of waterfowl and shorebirds, the project will provide critical salmon rearing habitat, and protect two sites which are important for the reproductive success of band-tailed pigeons.
Partners: The Cascade Land Conservancy, the Wildlife Forever Foundation, and the Pacific Coast Joint Venture.
Coastal grant request: $860,000
State share: $5,000
Partners share: $395,000

Total cost:

$1,260,000

 

 


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