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More Than $19 Million in Grants to Protect Coastal Wetlands

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the award of more than
$19 million to support 24 conservation projects benefiting fish and
wildlife on more than 5,900 acres of coastal habitats in twelve states
in the United States through the 2011 National Coastal Wetlands
Conservation Grant Program. These federal grants will be matched by
nearly $21 million in partner contributions from state and local
governments, private landowners and conservation groups.

The grants will be used to acquire, restore or enhance coastal
wetlands and adjacent uplands to provide long-term conservation benefits
to fish, wildlife and their habitat. States receiving funds include:
Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina,
Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Alaska, and California.

“Our Nation’s coastal wetlands encompass large areas of vital
habitat for countless species of wildlife while providing important
economic resources and recreational opportunities for the American
people,” Secretary Ken Salazar said. “These grants will offer additional
protection, restoration, and enhancement of these precious habitats.”

The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program is
administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and funded under
provisions of the 1990 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and
Restoration Act. Funding is provided by Sport Fish Restoration Act
revenue – money generated from an excise tax on fishing equipment,
motorboat and small engine fuels.

Including the 2011 grants, the Service has awarded nearly $260
million to coastal states and territories since the program began in
1992. When the 2011 projects are complete more than 265,000 acres of
habitat will have been protected, restored or enhanced.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Service’s Coastal
Program provides strategic conservation planning and assistance in
coastal areas. It represents one of the Service’s most popular and
effective programs for voluntary, locally based habitat restoration and
protection efforts. With climate change threatening to reduce coastal
habitats, the public and private partnerships garnered by the Coastal
Program are essential.

A complete list of projects funded by the 2011 grant program can be found online at: www.fws.gov

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