U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces $266,853 for Restoration of Illinois Coastal Wetland
Federal funds provided through 2010 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently awarded $266,853 to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to support the restoration of wetland habitat in Cook County adjacent to the Grand Calumet River, a tributary of Lake Michigan. The federal funds are provided through the 2010 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, and will supplement a non-federal contribution from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. The Friends of the Forest Preserves is partnering with the Illinois DNR to complete the coastal wetland restoration.
“This area is an important stopover location for migratory birds and provides breeding habitat for other wildlife,“ said Tom Melius, Midwest regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “These grants allow us to work with our partners to conserve coastal wetlands in the Great Lakes region and the fish and wildlife that inhabit this treasured part of our country.”
The federal funding is part of more than $19.2 million to support 25 conservation projects benefiting fish and wildlife on more than 6,100 acres of coastal habitat in 11 states through 2010. The federal grants will be matched by nearly $26 million in partner contributions from state and local governments, private landowners and conservation groups.
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 and motorboat and small engine fuels.
Including the 2010 grants, the Service has awarded nearly $240 million to coastal states and territories since the program began in 1992. When the 2010 projects are complete, more than 260,000 acres of habitat will have been protected, restored or enhanced.