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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Proposals for National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 26, 2004

Contact:
Nicholas Throckmorton, 202-208-5636


The Fish and Wildlife Service is currently accepting applications for the 2005 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant program. Approximately $14 million of funds will be available for this grant program in the coming year.

"This grant program provides an excellent opportunity for our partners to conserve coastal wetlands around the country" said Service Director Steve Williams. "The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation program has helped conserve nearly 170,000 acres of wetland resources along the Nation's coasts. These wetlands provide habitat for a great many fish and wildlife species and offer hunting and fishing opportunities for sportsmen and women."

National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grants are awarded to the states through a competitive process. The program is 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).

This year, the program is the first Service grant fund to accept proposals electronically through grants.gov. The grants.gov website is a cross-agency E-Government initiative, spanning 900 federal financial assistance programs and $350 billion in annual awards.

To date, 24 States and 1 Territory have participated in the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program since its inception.

Proposals are being accepted through June 21, 2004. For additional information, please contact Sally Valdes at 703-358-2231 or Brian Bohnsack at 703-358-2156.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at http://southeast.fws.gov/ or http://www.fws.gov/.



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