News Release
Southeast Region


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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Provides $5.1 Million in Grants to 11 States for Conservation Projects

Partners offer $3.1 million in matching funds
In Southeast: North and South Carolina get grants

August 19, 2013



Robust Redhorse Sucker.

Robust Redhorse Sucker

Photo credit: Brian Gratwicke

Imperiled species will benefit from a total of $5.1 million in grants to 11 states through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s competitive State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program. The grants, which focus on large-scale conservation projects yielding measurable results, will be matched by more than $3.1 million in non-federal funds from states and their partners for projects that work to conserve and recover Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and their habitats.

“The projects funded by these grants target some of the most imperiled species and habitats in the United States,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “These projects are receiving funding because they are tied to well-thought-out conservation plans that identify the highest-priority areas where we can make the biggest difference for imperiled species.”

The SWG funds will benefit a variety of species and habitats: In North Carolina and South Carolina, partners’ work will help inform decision-making and management for the robust redhorse and up to 52 additional fishes, mussels and crayfish. In Minnesota, SWG funds will support conservation actions to benefit the imperiled wood turtle, the rare smooth softshell turtle, the Blandings turtle and other turtle species of greatest conservation need. SWG funding also will be used by Iowa, Missouri and Illinois to conserve and improve habitat for the greater prairie-chicken as well as a range of other bird and butterfly SGCN. For more information about each of the grant projects, visit:

SWG-funded projects implement strategies and actions to conserve SGCN as identified in approved State Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plans (also known as State Wildlife Action Plans). Funding for the grants comes from Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations.

“We appreciate the strong ties formed by state agencies and their partners to protect these imperiled wildlife species and their habitats,” said Hannibal Bolton, the Service’s Assistant Director for Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration. “These partnerships are critical to the on-the-ground success of these projects.”

All 50 states and six territorial wildlife agencies have approved State Wildlife Action Plans that collectively provide a nationwide blueprint for actions to conserve SGCN. The plans were created through a collaborative effort among state and federal agencies, biologists, conservationists, landowners, sportsmen and -women and the general public.

In the Southeast:

  • North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Inland Fisheries
    Robust Redhorse Recovery and Habitat Restoration State(s): North Carolina, South Carolina Goals and Objectives: The robust redhorse (Moxostoma robustum), a large fish found in only three river drainages in the southeastern U.S., is a state-listed endangered species in North Carolina. Little is known of the effects of common contaminants on water quality and the species’ food web dynamics, uncertainties which must be resolved before the fish can be effectively restored. The collaborative effort will rely on expertise from the U.S. Geological Survey, North Carolina State University and the state resource agencies of North and South Carolina. Field sampling and laboratory analyses will allow the partners to develop population and food web models to describe and project the effects of habitat and water quality changes on populations of the species. The results will inform decision-making and management for the robust redhorse along with up to 52 additional fishes, mussels, and crayfish.
    Federal Funds Requested: $460,000         Non-Fed Match: $225,400
  • North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Inland Fisheries
    Identifying Conservation Opportunity Areas for the 2015 Revision of the North Carolina Wildlife Action Plan The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will work with the U.S. Geological Survey and North Carolina State University to implement strategies recommended by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies for revision of the North Carolina State Wildlife Action Plan. A key advance will be made by utilizing spatial models to analyze and map Conservation Opportunity Areas based on habitat threats such as urban growth, pollution, and impacts from climate change. Partners will consolidate and maintain these data sets, making them available to the public through an internet data portal.
    Federal Funds Requested: $94,374         Non-Fed Match: $31,458

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) is a 75-year partnership to benefit fish and wildlife and provide Americans with access to the outdoors through a self-imposed investment paid by manufacturers and users of gear bought by anglers, boaters, hunters and shooters and managed by federal and state fish and wildlife agencies. Fishing and hunting licenses and motorboat fuel taxes also support fish and wildlife. For 75 years, the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has provided more than $14 billion for fish and wildlife, supplied jobs for many Americans and benefitted local economies through boating, fishing, hunting and shooting activities.


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. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit  Connect with us on Facebook at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at, and download photos from our Flickr page at


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Last updated: February 19, 2014