Division of Public Affairs
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced on September 9, 2009, the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has approved the expenditure of nearly $8 million in Federal Duck Stamp funds to add more than 4,000 wetland acres to seven units of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Commission also approved $33.4 million in federal funding to conserve more than 190,000 acres of wetlands and associated habitat in the United States under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).
Seven NAWCA grant projects have been approved for the Southeast Region – one each in Florida and Mississippi, three in Louisiana, and two in South Carolina.
“The needs of waterfowl and wetland-dependent wildlife are no less great during these challenging economic times,” said Salazar. “The efficiency and effectiveness of our wetland conservation system – thanks in large part to North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants, the Federal Duck Stamp and the National Wildlife Refuge System – are especially important in meeting these needs.”
Wetlands provide many ecological, economic, and social benefits. They provide habitat for fish, wildlife, and a variety of plants. They serve as nurseries for many saltwater and freshwater fishes and shellfish of commercial and recreational importance. Wetlands also hold and slowly release flood waters, act as filters to cleanse water of impurities, and provide recreational and wildlife viewing opportunities for millions of people.
The Commission includes Senators Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Representatives John Dingell of Michigan and Robert Wittman of Virginia, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, as well as state representatives as ex officio members who vote on projects located within their respective states.
Passed in 1989, NAWCA provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The Act was passed in part to support activities under the http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/grants/NAWCA/index.shtm
The Commission also approved the purchase of wetlands that will be added to seven units of the National Wildlife Refuge System to secure breeding, resting, and feeding habitat. These acquisitions include:
These acquisitions are funded with the proceeds from sales of the . The website provides waterfowl enthusiasts, biologists and agency administrators with the most up-to-date waterfowl habitat and waterfowl population information.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.