U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe has announced that over $20 million will be provided to 28 projects in 12 coastal states to protect, restore or enhance more than 10,000 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 $20 million in additional funds to these projects, which acquire, restore or enhance coastal wetlands and adjacent uplands to provide long-term conservation benefits to fish and wildlife and their habitats.
“The Fish and Wildlife Service’s Coastal Wetlands Grants provide critical funding in the effort to protect some of our most fragile and at-risk wildlife habitats,” said Service Director Dan Ashe.
“With rising ocean levels eating away at coastal wetlands from one side and development claiming more and more acres on the other, our coastal wetlands are being squeezed into an ever thinner sliver of land. Never before has it been so important to protect these places.”
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 California, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington.