Conserving the Nature of America

News Release

Secretary Kempthorne Announced Grants Will Protect Thousands of Acres of Coastal Wetlands in Eleven States, Puerto Rico

January 9, 2008


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

Department of the Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced today that twenty-nine conservation projects encompassing nearly 10,000 acres of coastal wetlands will be funded with $20.5 million from 2008 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants.

The grants will be used to acquire, restore or enhance coastal wetlands to provide long-term conservation benefits to fish, wildlife and habitat. States receiving funds include California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Maine, Maryland, and Massachusetts, along with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. These federal grants will be matched by nearly $46 million in partner contributions from state and local governments, private landowners and conservation groups.

"By tapping into the power of partnership through these grants, we are joining with states, local governments, conservation organizations and other partners across the country to conserve and restore our vitally important coastal wetlands,Kempthorne said. "The projects offer enormous benefits. Coastal wetlands filter pollution, reduce storm surge from hurricanes, protect coastlines from erosion, provide habitat for many species of fish and wildlife, and offer recreational opportunities for millions of Americans."

The 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. 

"The number of plant and animal species that rely on coastal wetlands for their health and well-being is remarkable, and I include people among that group," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall. "This coastal grant program continues to provide valued funds for a valued resource, and we have the angling and boating industries -- and the anglers and boaters themselves - to thank for their financial support."
Including the 2008 grants, the Service has awarded more than $200 million to coastal states and territories since the program began in 1992. When the 2008 projects are complete, 244,000 acres of habitat will have been protected, restored or enhanced. 

Projects funded by the 2008 grant program include:

Conservation Grant                                                       Acreage          Amount California                                                                   

5 acres


730 acres


5 acres


2,320 acres


Conserving and Restoring the Biodiversity of the NW Hawaiian Islands - Kure Atoll 299 acres $400,000

Hegewisch Marsh Restoration Project


Ingallshore Conservation Project 137 acres $600,000

76.6 acres


Bishopville Ecosystem Restoration Project 85 acres $482,000

Conservation Easements on Sturgis Farm and Stark Property in the MD Coastal Bays 280.5 acres


Wicomico River Coastal Wetland Protection

272 acres


Eel River Headwaters Restoration and HaydenPond and Hoyts Pond Property Acquisitions 76.2 acres $1,000,000

Michigan Great Lakes Marsh Restoration - Controlling the Spread of Phragmites within the Lake St. Clair Watershed 800 acres


90.8 acres


217 acres


22 acres


Alsea River Estuarine Wetlands Acquisition Project 235 acres $997,350


71 acres




Puerto Rico
San Miguel Natural Reserve Acquisition Project - Phase II174 acres $1,000,000

Texas Protection and Restoration of the Moses Lake Shoreline at the Texas City Prairie Preserve $300,000

Deadwater Slough, Ebey Island, Snohomish River Delta Acquisition and Restoration Project, Phase I 820 acres $1,000,000

89 acres


523 acres


4.5 acres



Lake Michigan Ridge & Swale Coastal Wetlands Protection - Kellner Fen and Sturgeon Bay Canal 440 acres $1,000,000


Funded Grant Proposals 9,137 $20,574,244

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.

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 97-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 548 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources 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 and Native American tribal 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.

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