Southeast
Tom Ingram / WKRG News 5

AL - Bon Secour wetlands gets cut of $20 million federal conservation grants

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is getting more money to protect important coastal wetlands in Baldwin County.

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is getting more money to protect important coastal wetlands in Baldwin County.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday awarded more than $20 million for 25 projects in 13 states as part of the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants program, to “protect, restore or enhance more than 61,000 acres of coastal wetlands,” according to a Department of the Interior news release. Alabama is among those thirteen states.

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To protect 81 acres of forested and emergent marsh of the Bon Secour River Wetlands, the ADCR was awarded $491,640. ADCR will match $223,472 for the project with a total cost of $715,112. Ecosystems like the Bon Secour River Wetlands are particularly important for protecting communities against rising sea levels, according to the release.

“Coastal wetlands provide important habitat for the fish, wildlife and plants that support natural infrastructure and help protect coastal communities from storm flooding and sea-level rise,” said Shannon Estenoz, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

States submitted applications based on their specific needs. Proposals competed nationally for the awards.

Projects provide myriad benefits to coastal communities, according to the release, including helping to “recover coastal-dependent species, enhance flood protection and water quality, provide economic benefits to coastal communities and Tribes, increase outdoor recreational opportunities and benefit habitat and wildlife at several national wildlife refuges.”

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded more than $400 million in grants under this program since 1992. The program is funded by taxes paid on fishing equipment and fuel purchased by recreational boaters and anglers.

Alabama

Bon Secour River Wetlands:
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will protect 81 acres of
forested and emergent marsh benefiting wet pine flatwood savanna and providing public
recreational and educational opportunities.
Award: $491,640
Match: $223,472
Total Cost: $715,112

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