More than $26 million in grants to protect and restore wetlands and other habitats have been approved by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

“More than $24.2 million of the more grant funds will support 25 projects in 21 states and Puerto Rico, with partners contributing an additional $60.6 million in matching funds to help protect, restore and enhance almost 185,000 acres,” according to a press release by the Department of Interior.

There are typically several partners with each effort, including federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, land trusts, private landowners and other interested parties.

“By restoring and conserving our wetlands, we are able to help protect this vital habitat for the birds and wildlife that make their homes there,” said Ken Salazar, chairman of the commission, and Secretary of the department.

Several projects received $1 million in federal funds, according to project summaries:

  • Suisun Marsh Managed Wetlands Enhancement Project, Phase II; Solano County, California.
  • Yolo Basin Wetland Habitat Project, Phase IV; Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties, California.
  • San Luis Valley Wetland Project – Phase IV; Alamosa, Rio Grande, Saguache, Conejos and Costilla counties, Colorado
  • Platte River Wetlands Partnership II; Weld, Morgan, Logan and Sedgwick counties, Colorado; Garden, Keith, Lincoln, Merrill and Scotts Bluff counties, Nebraska; Goshen County, Wyoming.
  • North Florida Wetlands Conservation Project, Phase III; Alachua County, Florida.
  • Rayonier-Murff Tract; Long and McIntosh counties, Georgia
  • Prairie Lakes Wetland Initiative III; 19 counties in the Prairie Pothole Region of Iowa.
  • Southeastern Prairie Potholes; 24 counties within the Prairie Pothole Region of Iowa
  • Glaciated Valleys of Northwest Montana 2; Flathead, Lake and Sanders counties, Montana.
  • Rainwater Basin Habitat Conservation Project – Phase IV; 17 counties in central Nebraska
  • North Carolina Onslow Bight Partnership Phase III; Carteret, Craven, Onslow and Pender counties, North Carolina
  • Southeastern North Carolina Wetlands Initiative I; Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus and Pender counties, North Carolina
  • North Dakota Drift Prairie Project – II; 22 counties in North Dakota
  • Willamette River Delta Restoration Project, Phase II; Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington and Columbia counties, Oregon
  • Winyah Bay Protection Project: Phase I; Dillon, Georgetown, Horry, Marion and Williamsburg counties, South Carolina
  • Texas Chenier Plain Wetlands Improvement Project.; Chambers and Jefferson counties, Texas
  • Southern Tip Ecological Partnership II (STEP-2); Northampton and Accomack counties, Virginia.
  • San Miguel Natural Reserve; Luquillo, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Nearly $2 million was awarded for seven projects that will protect 2,470 acres of habitat in Mexico. Partners will provide an additional $3.5 million.

The NAWCA is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Grants are “funded by annual Congressional appropriations; fines, 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.”

Funds are provided each year for projects which undergo a review and are selected by members of the commission. Funding is often provided in different years to continue a long-term project.

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