National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants

The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program annually provides grants of up to $1 million to coastal and Great Lakes states, as well as U.S. territories to protect, restore and enhance coastal wetland ecosystems and associated uplands. The Program is funded by revenues collected from excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, electric motors and sonar, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts and pleasure craft, a portion of the gasoline tax attributable to motorboats and small engines, and interest on the fund, under the authority of the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act of 1950.

Eligible projects include the acquisition of real property interest in coastal lands or waters and the restoration, enhancement, or management of coastal wetlands ecosystems. 

Source of Funds

The Washington State Department of Ecology, in partnership with the Stillaguamish Tribe, will protect and restore 537 acres of coastal wetlands that will benefit a wide range of fish and wildlife species. Credit: Washington State Department of Ecology

Funds for the Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant are provided annually from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) receives 18.5% of the funds in the Trust Fund after deducting amounts for WSFR administration, the Multistate Conservation Grant Program, the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council and fisheries commissions.

The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants receive 15% of the 18.5% for CWPPRA.

The funds deposited into the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund are derived from excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, electric motors and sonar, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts and pleasure craft, a portion of the gasoline tax attributable to motorboats and small engines, and interest on the fund.


Coastal States receive funding though a national competitive process. State and U.S. insular area fish and wildlife agencies may apply for Coastal Wetlands Grants by contacting the specific WSFR Office or apply online at GrantSolutions.

The grant program is co-administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and the Coastal Program.

2023 Awards

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Awards Nearly $19 Million To Help Coastal Community Resilience, Provide Economic Benefits and Protect Native Ecosystems

Projects in eight coastal states will improve wetlands for wildlife, coastal communities and recreation.

Coastal wetlands are vitally important in protecting us from floods, filtering our water, supporting recreation and local economies, and providing habitat for fish and wildlife. Despite their importance, there has been a steady loss of coastal wetlands. Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is awarding nearly $19 million to support 21 projects in eight coastal states to protect, restore or enhance nearly 14,000 acres of coastal wetlands and adjacent upland habitats under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program.

State, local and Tribal governments, private landowners, conservation groups and other partners will contribute more than $20 million in additional funds to these projects. These grants will have wide-reaching benefits for local economies, people and wildlife – boosting coastal resilience, reducing flood risk, stabilizing shorelines and protecting natural ecosystems.

“Creating and restoring resilient natural systems is critical to ensuring that important habitat, wildlife and coastal communities continue to thrive for future generations,” said Service Director Martha Williams. “These grants invest in projects that will help mitigate the effects of climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

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on coastal areas, many of which have already been dramatically altered and stressed by storms, sea-level rise, human activity and invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

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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 more than $450 million in grants under the program.

The 2023 grants will help recover coastal-dependent species, enhance flood protection and water quality, provide economic benefits to Tribes and underserved communities, increase outdoor recreational opportunities, and benefit habitat and wildlife at several national wildlife refuges.

States receiving funds this year are Alaska, California, Hawai‘i, Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Washington. Several of the projects funded by the 2023 grant program, include:

Tarboo Wildlife Preserve Acquisition and Restoration

The Washington Department of Ecology, in partnership with Northwest Watershed Institute (NWI), is awarded $689,000 to permanently protect and restore 35 acres along Tarboo Creek’s tributaries and wetlands as an important addition to NWI’s 500-acre Tarboo Wildlife Preserve in Tarboo Valley. This project is part of a long-term landscape-scale conservation effort to protect the Tarboo-Dabob Bay ecosystem. The project site includes wetlands and tributaries that flow into Tarboo Creek and significant upland conifer and hardwood forest. The project will protect spawning and rearing habitat for threatened steelhead and coho salmon, coastal cutthroat trout, and western brook lamprey. It will also protect habitat for at-risk land birds and other species, including black-tailed deer, Roosevelt elk, cougar and black bear. 

Galveston Bay Wetland Acquisition

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, in partnership with Galveston Bay Foundation, is awarded $1 million to acquire 60 acres of coastal habitat with 43 acres of wetlands in Galveston County, Texas, known as Redfish Cove. These coastal habitats provide critical nursery, foraging, breeding and nesting habitat for state-identified species of greatest conservation need in Texas, including eastern black rail and the federally threatened piping plover. They also harbor economically significant fisheries, including shrimp, crab, redfish, trout and flounder. Galveston Bay Foundation will manage the tract along with its other coastal habitat conservation holdings.

RMS-Wadmacon Tract Acquisition

The South Carolina Conservation Bank and its conservation partners are awarded $1 million to add 2,180 acres of forested land on the Santee River to the Wee Tee State Forest by acquiring the RMS-Wadmacon tract. The property is almost entirely palustrine forested wetland floodplain from Dawhoo Lake and Wadmacon Creek to the Santee River, which form the parcel’s northern and southern boundaries. Conservation of the property supports habitats utilized by at least 116 species of conservation concern in the South Carolina State Wildlife Action Plan, including waterfowl, wading birds, bats, songbirds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, crayfish and mussels. It will provide habitat for at least 19 federal or state-listed species. This project will also support the objectives of at least 20 regional, state and federal conservation plans

Potter Marsh Watershed Conservation - Phase 2

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources is awarded $1 million to implement Phase 2 of the Potter Marsh Watershed Conservation Project. Potter Marsh provides a critical linkage of conserved lands between two conserved areas – the 32,500-acre Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge and the 495,000-acre Chugach State Park. Phase 2 will permanently protect 83.5 acres of the largest remaining unprotected and undeveloped tract of urban coastal wetlands ecosystem in the Anchorage area. Potter Creek flows along the southern edge of the larger 302.6-acre conservation area conservation area
A conservation area or wildlife management area is a type of national wildlife refuge that consists primarily or entirely of conservation easements on private lands. These conservation easements support private landowner efforts to protect important habitat for fish and wildlife . There are 12 conservation areas and nine wildlife management areas in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

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, providing habitat for fish and a variety of resident and migratory birds and mammals. The Great Land Trust is responsible for project management, including facilitating negotiations and conducting the regulatory due diligence.

Big Canyon Tidal Marsh Restoration - Phase 3

The California State Coastal Conservancy is awarded $1 million to restore approximately 14.3 acres of coastal wetlands and associated uplands in the Big Canyon Nature Park in Upper Newport Bay in the City of Newport Beach. This is the final phase of a multi-phase water quality, habitat restoration and climate adaptation project in the Big Canyon Nature Park. The project will restore and enhance approximately 1,900 feet of tidal and creek channel, 2.8 acres of tidal marsh, 7.3 acres of transitional wetlands and 4.2 acres of coastal sage scrub. The project will restore tidal saltmarsh and establish a riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

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corridor that integrates the previous phases of the restoration project. The restoration of the wetlands and sage scrub habitats and improved water quality will benefit numerous listed birds and increase opportunities for educational programming and public access.

Wetlands in coastal watersheds are diverse and complex ecosystems that are vital to the nation’s economy and an important part of the nation’s natural heritage. Coastal wetlands in the United States include both salt marshes in estuaries and freshwater wetlands that extend inland within the coastal drainages. They provide crucial habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife, including breeding grounds, nurseries, shelter and food.

For More Information

Read the online Guidance 

Download the printable Factsheet

National Coordinators

Chris Darnell

Paul Van Ryzin

Regional Contacts

  • Pacific Region 1: Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and the Pacific Trust Territories
    Chris Swenson
  • Southwest Region 2: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
    Jessica Gwinn

  • Midwest Region 3: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin
    Casey Nelson

  • Southeast Region 4: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands
    James Duffy

  • Northeast Region 5: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia
    Bill Perry

  • Alaska Region 7: Alaska
    Jonathan Snyder
  • Pacific Southwest Region 8: California, Nevada
    Becky Miller

Reference Documents

Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States

Ecology of Maritime Forests of Southern Atlantic Coast

Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977

National Wetlands Priority Conservation Plan


Government or Government Representative - State Government

Get Started

The Funding Opportunity Announcement and application instructions for the 2024 National Coastal Wetland Conservation Grant Program can be found online at GrantSolutions or in the downloadable PDF. 

The application announcement will be available February 2023. The application due date will be June 30, 2023. 

Apply via GrantSolutions 

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