Salazar Announces Wetlands Acquisitions for Refuge System and Grants for Bird Conservation ....funding that will conserve more than 6,200 acres of habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife on seven units of the National Wildlife Refuge System,....
work with willing landowners to put conservation easements in place on tens of thousands of additional acres, helping to stem the loss of these breeding grounds.”
For every dollar spent on Federal Duck Stamps, ninety-eight cents goes directly to purchase vital habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission oversees the use of Federal Duck Stamp funds for the purchase and lease of these wetland habitats for national wildlife refuges. To date, commission action has protected some 5.5 million acres of wetlands using more than $1.1 billion in Duck Stamp revenues.
For more information about the commission, visit http://www.fws.gov/refuges/realty/mbcc.html.
In addition to the seven refuge additions listed above, the commission also approved funding for wetlands conservation grants under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).
The grants will support 23 projects in 16 states under NAWCA’s U.S. Standard Grants Program. Partners in these projects will contribute an additional $50 million in matching funds, affecting more than 90,000 acres.
Grants are funded by annual Congressional appropriations; penalties and forfeitures levied under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; interest accrued on funds under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act; and excise taxes paid on small engine fuels through the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Fund.
The commission also approved more than $2.8 million in NAWCA grants for nine projects in Mexico. These grants will be matched by $9 million in partner contributions and will directly affect more than 56,000 acres of wetlands and associated habitats in 20 Mexican states. In addition to habitat acquisition, restoration, enhancement and management activities, NAWCA projects in Mexico may also involve technical training, education, sustainable-use studies, or organizational infrastructure building to develop or strengthen wetlands conservation and management capabilities.
Projects funded today with NAWCA grants include:
Sonoran Wetlands Restoration II, Arizona and California
Grantee: Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
The project area is located in one of the most arid parts of the continent, yet contains the most important and threatened wetlands remaining in this region. The core of the project work will be the restoration and enhancement of wetlands and associated habitats adjacent to the Salton Sea to protect a diverse array of habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, waterbirds and other wetland-dependent wildlife.
Kennebec River Estuary, Phase IV, Maine
Grantee: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
The purpose of this project is to protect lands for permanent conservation within the Merrymeeting Bay/Lower Kennebec River drainage in Maine, expanding protection at key sites where ongoing conservation efforts have yielded significant results. The waters and salt marshes of the Lower Kennebec provide valuable wintering habitat for waterfowl.
Southern Tip Ecological Project IV, Virginia
Grantee: The Nature Conservancy
Representing the fourth step in a legacy of cooperative efforts to conserve migratory bird habitat in the Southern Tip of the Delmarva Peninsula, STEP-4 focuses on protecting habitat on and near the shorelines of the Chesapeake Bay and its coastal islands through fee acquisition of Savage Island, a key island that essentially “fills the donut” of protected properties around