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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Funding Opportunity for Projects Benefiting Coastal South Carolina

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2005

Contacts:
Jennifer Koches, (843)727-4707 ext. 214


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces a funding opportunity for projects that benefit the natural resources of coastal South Carolina. In cooperation with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Foundation), the Service manages a fund to be used for the conservation, management, and protection of fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats in the Savannah-Santee-Pee Dee (SSPD) Ecosystem.

These funds, as administered by the Foundation, are comprised of restitution monies and/or court-ordered settlements resulting from violations of Federal environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Lacey Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and Oil Pollution Act, among others. Payments into the fund are the result of settlements from both civil and criminal cases and are paid in addition to any fines levied on the defendants payable to the U.S. Government, states, and courts. These funds are not to be confused with settlements for natural resource damages collected under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) or Oil Pollution Act (OPA).

Established in 2000, the SSPD Resource Protection Fund received its largest deposit of restitution monies to date in 2005. The Acting US Attorney General for the district of South Carolina, along with Attorney Generals from four other Federal districts, won a landmark settlement of $25 million, $2 million of which was deposited in the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's SSPD Resource Protection Fund to be applied towards conservation efforts and projects benefiting the coast of South Carolina.

Projects that have been funded by the SSPD Resource Protection Fund since its establishment include:

  • Enhancement of the sea turtle rescue, rehabilitation, and release program at the South Carolina Aquarium
  • Development of effective stock enhancement and management practices for endangered and recreational fish native to coastal South Carolina and Georgia
  • Shortnose sturgeon genetic characterization of the Santee-Cooper Basin, Cooper River, Pee Dee River, Ogeechee River, Savannah River, Bull Creek and Savannah River hatchery stock
  • Monitoring of annual survival in the southeastern coastal breeding population of painted buntings
  • Preliminary assessments of northern pintails in the Atlantic flyway in comparison to the continental population
  • Responses of certain avian species to traditional and experimental management of coastal marsh impoundments within the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto (ACE) Basin, South Carolina
  • Upgrade of Avionics equipment for a USFWS Cessna-185 airplane used for conducting migratory bird surveys

Citizen groups, public and nonprofit organizations, watershed groups, businesses, academic institutions, and local, state, and Federal applicants are encouraged to apply. Pre-proposals are due January 17, 2006 and should be submitted through the Foundation's website at: http://www.nfwf.org/programs/sspd.cfm

Applicants submitting pre-proposals determined to fit the evaluation and selection parameters will be invited to submit a full proposal to the Foundation. Deadline for submission of full proposals to the Foundation is March 3, 2006.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife, 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 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates national fish hatcheries, fishery resource offices, and 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 Aid program that 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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