The U.S. Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, is awarding more than $20 million to 22 projects in 11 coastal states to protect, restore or enhance more than 7,000 acres of coastal wetlands and adjacent upland habitats under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program.
State and local governments, private landowners, conservation groups and other partners will contribute more than $26.7 million in additional funds to these projects, according to an official announcement.
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.
“Through the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, we are demonstrating our commitment to promoting coastal sustainability with healthy ecosystems, vibrant economies and resilient communities,” said Bernhardt. “These projects will continue successful conservation partnerships with numerous public, non-profit and private stakeholders while providing public education and research opportunities as well as conserving thousands of acres of coastal habitat.”
States receiving funds this year are Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
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 $400 million in grants under the program.