Brent Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 231-6211
Six critical coastal wetland projects in the state of Washington have been awarded $4.7 million through the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program, which is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The projects funded in Washington range from estuary restoration and protection in Puget Sound to habitat protection along the outer Washington coast. The awarded projects are Barnum Point Acquisition ($1 million), Dosewallips Floodplain and Estuary Restoration ($402,117), Grayland Acquisition ($1 million), Lower Henderson Inlet Acquisition ($800,000), Zis a ba Estuary Restoration ($511,496) and Zylstra Lake Acquisition ($1 million).
Coastal wetlands across the nation are under siege from both increased development and sea-level rise, making habitat conservation critical so that wildlife and coastal communities continue to thrive for future generations. Nationwide, more than $17 million will be awarded by the Service to 20 projects in 10 coastal states to protect, restore or enhance more than 13,000 acres of coastal wetlands and adjacent upland habitats under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program.
State and local governments, Native American tribes, private landowners, conservation groups and other partners will contribute more than $20 million in additional funds to these projects. Click here for the complete list of projects funded by the 2017 grant program.
“Wetlands in coastal watersheds, including on national wildlife refuges, are diverse and complex ecosystems that are vital to the nation’s economy and an important part of the nation’s natural heritage. They provide crucial habitat, including breeding grounds, nurseries, shelter and food for fish, birds and other wildlife,” said National Wildlife Refuge System Chief Cynthia Martinez. “The pressure on wetlands is increasing from the demand for land and water, as well as from the effects of climate change, and it is vital that we protect them for future generations.”
Coastal wetlands include both salt marshes in estuaries and freshwater wetlands that extend inland within the coastal drainages. Coastal wetlands play an important role in reducing flooding from storm surge and in stabilizing shorelines in the face of sea-level rise. According to a Service report, wetlands in coastal watersheds are lost at an average of 80,000 acres annually. Conservation of these habitats will not only benefit coastal wetland-dependent wildlife, but will also enhance flood protection and water quality, and provide economic benefits and recreational opportunities for anglers, boaters, hunters and wildlife watchers.
“Coastal wetlands are extremely important to the future of both wildlife and humans,” said Robyn Thorson, the Service's Pacific Region Director. “In addition to providing essential habitat for migratory birds, fish, shellfish, and many threatened and endangered species, these coastal areas are essential to coastal communities and act as a buffer against extreme weather events.”
The program, funded in part through taxes paid on equipment and fuel purchases by recreational anglers and boaters, creates significant benefits for the American public. The billions of dollars generated through recreational angling, boating, waterfowl hunting and bird watching benefit communities in the vicinity of wetlands restoration projects.
The Service awards grants of up to $1 million to states based on a national competition, which enables states to determine and address their highest conservation priorities in coastal areas. Since 1992, the Service has awarded nearly $400 million in grants under the program.
Here are details on the six Washington projects.
More information is available at: http://www.fws.gov/coastal/CoastalGrants/index.html.
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.
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