The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will provide more than $21 million in funding to 25 projects in 13 coastal and Great Lakes states to protect, restore or enhance more than 11,000 acres of coastal wetlands and adjacent upland habitats under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program.
State and local governments, private landowners, conservation groups and other partners will contribute over $35 million in additional funds to these projects, which include acquiring, restoring or enhancing coastal wetlands and adjacent uplands to provide long-term conservation benefits to fish and wildlife and their habitats.
The program, funded in part through taxes paid on equipment and fuel purchases by recreational anglers and boaters, creates significant benefits for other recreationists and 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.
States and territories receiving funds are Delaware, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington.
Wetlands projects include:
Beltz Farm Acquisition (Oregon)
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department was awarded $970,500 to acquire, permanently protect and manage as a state natural area, 244 acres of coastal estuarine habitat within the Sand Lake estuary in Tillamook County. The Beltz Farm parcels include coastal estuary and freshwater wetlands, coastal dune habitat, ocean shore and forest and upland scrub habitats. Two creeks on the property provide spawning and rearing habitat and connect to additional habitat upstream.
Altama Plantation Acquisition – Phase 2 (Georgia)
Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) was awarded $1 million to acquire and protect approximately 2,370 acres of the Altama Plantation. The area is made up of tidal wetlands, inland maritime forests and adjacent uplands in the Lower Altamaha River watershed. The lower Altamaha River watershed is designated as one of the “Last Great Places” by The Nature Conservancy, and is a top State Wildlife Action Plan priority.
Point Abbaye and Huron Bay Coastal Wetlands Acquisition (Michigan)
Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Keweenaw Land Trust are awarded $1 million to acquire four privately owned parcels of high quality, intact coastal wetlands and near-shore aquatic habitats on the Abbaye Peninsula and Huron Bay of Lake Superior in Baraga County. The parcels total 1,374 acres and include nearly a mile of Lake Superior shoreline. The project will protect and enhance coastal wetlands in a relatively pristine portion of Michigan that is increasingly being threatened by development.
Tidmarsh Farms Restoration (Massachusetts)
Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game was awarded $790,290 to restore 250 acres of recently retired cranberry bogs and supporting upland grassland and forest in the southeastern part of the state. The project will restore wetland communities by removing dams and water control structures and thousands of tons of sediment, and installing a culvert to reconnect the hydrology in the Beaver Dam Brook watershed. The project will be the largest freshwater wetlands restoration effort to date in Massachusetts.
The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program is administered by the Service and funded under provisions of the 1990 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act. Funding is provided by Sport Fish Restoration Act revenue.
source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service