The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has just reported that it will award over $17 million to 20 projects in 10 coastal states to protect, restore or enhance more than 13,000 acres of coastal wetlands.
The funds will be awarded under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, announced the FWS.
FWS also added that state and local governments, private landowners, conservation groups and other partners will contribute over $20 million in additional funds to these projects.
“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,” 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.”
States receiving funds are California, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, North Carolina, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
“These grants will also have wide-reaching benefits for local economies, people and wildlife – boosting coastal resilience, reducing flooding problems and protecting natural ecosystems,” added Martinez.
Since 1992, FSW has awarded nearly $400 million in grants under the program.