The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and the S.C. Conservation Bank were recently awarded five grants totaling $5 million to protect coastal wetlands in Williamsburg, Jasper, Charleston, Georgetown and Horry counties.
“Coastal wetland habitat conservation is critical to ensure that important habitat, wildlife and coastal communities continue to thrive for future generations,” said South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.
The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants, awarded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, provide funding of up to $1 million to coastal states to protect, restore and enhance coastal wetland ecosystems and associated wetlands. The maximum of $1 million was given to each of South Carolina’s five projects.
“These grants will have wide-reaching benefits for local South Carolina economies, people and wildlife,” said J. Raleigh West III, executive director of the S.C. Conservation Bank. “They will strengthen partnerships with numerous public, non-profit and private stakeholders while directly conserving and restoring vital coastal habitat and inland wetlands.”
The coastal wetlands grants are funded by a “user-pay” system of collections from the sale of recreational fishing equipment, boats, electric motors, and motorboat and small engine fuels under the authority of the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act of 1950.