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Interior announces NAWCA grants

Cara J

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The Department of Interior has announced the approval of $23.8 million in grants for waterfowl and wetland conservation. The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission issued the grants, which will be awarded to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the conservation of nearly 135,000 acres of wetland and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds and other birds in 17 states. Made through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), the grants will also be matched by more than $60 million from partners.   The goal of NAWCA grants, which were awarded Sept. 5, is to increase bird populations and wetland habitat, while supporting local economies; wildlife-dependent recreation such as hunting, fishing and bird watching; family farming and cattle ranching. Wetlands protected by NAWCA perform key ecosystem services such as flood control, reducing erosion, improving water and air quality and recharging ground water.  Since 1989, NAWCA has funded over 2,800 projects totaling $1.6 billion in grants. More than 6,000 partners have contributed another $3.3 billion in matching funds. Overall, 30 million acres of habitat through the U.S., Canada and Mexico have benefited from NAWCA. A complete list of the projects funded through this grant cycle is available here.   The commission also authorized the funding of 37 NAWCA small grant projects, which were previously approved by the North American Wetlands Conservation Council in February. These grants are available for projects up [...]

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