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GLIN==> Fish and Wildlife Service Awards Wetland Restoration Grants



Posted on behalf of Rich Greenwood <Rich_Greenwood@fws.gov >

---
Rachel F. Levin 202-208-5631
                    rachel_levin@fws.gov

       U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE AWARDS $12 MILLION
                 FOR WETLAND RESTORATION PROJECTS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will contribute $12 million
to
25 wetlands conservation and restoration projects over the
coming
year through its National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant program.
Service Director Jamie Rappaport Clark announced the grants, which will be
supplemented with more than $10 million
in
funding from state agencies and private organizations.

Fifteen coastal states and one U.S. territory from Alaska to
the
U.S. Virgin Islands received funding for projects ranging in
size
from 18 acres to nearly 600 acres.  Projects will protect a variety of
wetland ecosystems--among them salt marshes, mangroves, maritime forests
and riparian habitat--for the
benefit
of numerous birds, fishes, plants and mammals, including
several
endangered and threatened species.

"Through cooperative efforts--among the federal government, states, Native
American tribes and private organizations--these projects will conserve
more than 6,500 acres of prime habitat
for
our nation's fish, wildlife and plants," Clark said.  "These projects also
address some of the Service's top natural
resource
priorities, including conserving migratory birds, combating invasive
species and strengthening our ecosystem-based approach to fish and wildlife
management."

In 1990, Congress passed the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and
Restoration Act, authorizing the Service to make yearly matching grants to
coastal states and U.S. territories
for
projects involving the acquisition, restoration or enhancement
of
coastal wetlands, which must be administered for long-term conservation
benefits.  Since then, the Service has awarded
more
than $74 million to 25 states and one U.S. territory to acquire and restore
more than 93,000 acres.

All grants are awarded through a competitive process.  Funding for the
program is generated from excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat
and small engine fuels.  These taxes
are
deposited into the Sport Fish Restoration Account of the
Aquatic
Resources Trust Fund (commonly called Wallop-Breaux after its Congressional
sponsors).

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife and
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
people.  The Service manages the 93- million-acre National Wildlife Refuge
System comprised of more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of
small
wetlands,
and other special management areas.  It also operates 66
national
fish hatcheries, 64 fish and wildlife management assistance offices and 78
ecological services field stations.  The agency enforces federal wildlife
laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird
populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and
restores
wildlife
habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their
conservation efforts.  It also oversees the Federal Aid program that
distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and
hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

For more information about the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation
Grants program write to the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant
Program, Division of Habitat Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
4401 North
Fairfax
Drive, Room 400, Arlington, Virginia  22203; or visit the program's
Internet site at http://www.fws.gov/cep/cwgcover.html.


                             -FWS-



     spawning habitat of the historic summer chum population
now
     being re-introduced to Chimacum Creek.

     Federal:  $500,000       State:         $500,000
     Partners: $50,500

     Lower Dungeness and Sequim Bay Coastal Wetlands:  The Washington
     Department of Fish and Wildlife, with
assistance
     from the North Olympic Land Trust, will acquire 462 acres
in
     the lower Sequim Bay and the Dungeness River System.  This project
     will benefit a number of fish, including three endangered or
     threatened salmonid stocks.

     Federal:  $900,000       State:         $900,000
     Partners: $240,389

     Qwuloolt Project (Great Marsh):  The Washington State Department of
     Ecology will assist the Tulalip Tribes in purchasing some 21 acres in
     the lower Snohomish River estuary.  Acquisition will include deed
     restrictions assuring the wetlands will be conserved, restored and
     managed to benefit fish and wildlife.  This purchase will benefit a
     much larger intertidal restoration project.  A Natural Resources
     Damage Assessment team is working with
the
     U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop and implement a restoration
     plan for about 380 acres at Qwuloolt.

     Federal:  $389,025       State:         $209,474


     Willapa River Estuary Acquisition:  The Washington Department of Fish
     and Wildlife, with assistance from
Ducks
     Unlimited, will acquire 420 acres of coastal wetland property in the
     Willapa River Estuary.  This project supports the objectives of the
     Pacific Coast Joint Venture Strategic Plan, which identifies the
     Willapa River Estuary as target area for wetland acquisition and
     restoration.

     Federal:  $110,000       State:         $40,000
     Partners: $10,000


Wisconsin

     Mink River Estuary Natural Area Land Acquisition:Wisconsin's
Department of Natural Resources will
work with
     The Nature Conservancy to acquire 150 acres of high
quality
     wetlands habitat in the Mink River Estuary State Natural Area in Door
     County.  The project will protect spawning habitat for fish and
     foraging habitat for the endangered Hine's emerald dragonfly and
     provide links between
existing
     protected areas.

     Federal:  $283,000       State:         $41,000
     Partners: $126,000


                              -FWS-

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