To Conserve Coastal Wetlands
Northern Willapa Bay receives $800,000 grant
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced $20 million in grants to 24 critical coastal wetland projects in 13 states and territories to conserve and restore coastal wetlands and their fish and wildlife habitat. An additional $21.3 million in matching funds will be provided by partner contributions from state and local governments, private landowners and conservation groups through the 2013 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program. The announcement includes eight grants in six Washington counties worth more than $7.5 million.
“When President Obama unveiled his America’s Great Outdoors initiative three years ago, our goal was to work with communities across the country to create a 21st century conservation ethic,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “Our coastal grants program is a model of this kind of partnership, conserving vital wetlands hand-in-hand in partners from Maine to the Pacific Northwest to as far away as American Samoa in the South Pacific.”
Coastal areas comprise less than 10 percent of the nation’s land area yet support a significant number of wildlife species, including 75 percent of migratory birds, nearly 80 percent of fish and shellfish and about half of all threatened and endangered species.
“These coastal wetlands are extremely important to the future of both wildlife and humans,” Ashe said. “As Superstorm Sandy showed, it is essential to have natural wetlands available to act as a buffer against extreme weather events.
“Coastal wetlands also serve as some of nature’s most productive fish and wildlife habitat while providing improved water quality and abundant recreational opportunities for local communities.
These grants will help our state partners implement some high-quality projects that support conservation and outdoor recreation.”
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. 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.Kindred Island Acquisition (Pacific County)
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) proposes to acquire and conserve 355 acres of wetlands, shoreline, and forested buffers along one of the most pristine bays in the country and its tributaries. The acquisition of Kindred Island ensures that the ecological integrity of northern Willapa Bay will be preserved and supports the WDFW’s goal of protecting and restoring the critical estuarine habitats in Willapa Bay. Once the acquisition is complete, WDFW plans to eventually remove a dike that restricts tidal inundation of the pastures. This will enable the site to return to a mosaic of estuarine mudflats, marshes, and channels and will benefit multiple species of fish, waterfowl, and shorebirds.
Non-federal cost share: $373,237
Total project cost: $1,176,737