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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

More Than $20 Million in Grants to Conserve Coastal Wetlands

The 2012 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program has awarded $20.5 million in grants to support 24 projects in 13 states to conserve and restore coastal wetlands and their fish and wildlife habitat. These grants will be matched by nearly $21 million in partner contributions from state and local governments, private landowners and conservation groups.

The states receiving funds include Alaska, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia and Washington. The money will be used to acquire, restore and enhance coastal wetlands and their adjacent uplands.

Funding is provided by Sport Fish Restoration Act revenue. This is the money generated from excise taxes on fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels. Since the program began in 1992, including the current grants, nearly $300 million has been awarded to coastal states to protect habitat.

Coastal areas comprise less than 10 percent of the nation’s land area yet support 75 percent of migratory birds, nearly 80 percent of fish and shellfish and about half of all threatened and endangered species.

A list of projects funded by the 2012 grant program can be found online at: http://www.fws.gov/coastal/CoastalGrants/index.html.

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