Wildlife Refuge Acquisitions, Wetlands Projects Funded
The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has approved some $18 million for habitat conservation to benefit migratory birds. has agreed to the purchase of more than 3,500 acres of migratory bird habitat to be added to the National Wildlife Refuge System.
The Commission’s action will fund grants to states and other partners through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), to meet habitat goals for migratory birds.
The NAWCA Small Grant Program funded 43 projects for $2 million in 22 states and Puerto Rico to protect or restore 12,000 acres of wetlands and associated upland habitats. Project partners contributed more than $11 million.
The Commission also approved more than $16 million for 19 projects in Canada. Partners added more than $22 million to conserve more than one million acres of wetlands.
“Since many of North America’s waterfowl species are dependent on breeding habitat in Canada it is important that we use our NAWCA funds to conserve habitat there as well,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Steve Williams.
Funding for this program comes from Congressional appropriations, funds collected from fines, penalties, and forfeitures under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, interest accrued to the Pittman- Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, and from excise taxes paid on small engine fuels through the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act.
The Commission also allocated $6.4 million from the sale of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, the Duck Stamp, to purchase key tracts of land for the Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System in Michigan, Texas and West Virginia. All acquisitions were previously approved by the affected states.
In Michigan, 409 acres will be aquired to protect wetlands for migratory waterfowl within the boundaries of Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in Wayne County.
In Texas, 2,681 acres will be purchased to protect wetlands for migratory waterfowl within the boundaries of McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge in Galveston County. Also in Galveston County, 43 acres will be bought to protect wetlands for migratory waterfowl within the boundaries of Anuhuac National Wildlife Refuge.
Elsewhere in Texas, 225 acres will be acquired to protect wetlands for migratory waterfowl within the boundaries of San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge in Brazoria County.
And in West Virginia, 155 acres will be bought to protect wetlands for migratory waterfowl within the boundaries of Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Tucker County.
Provided by the Environmental News Service.