Monday, November 13, 2023

US Fish & Wildlife Service, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Award $7.4 Million In Grants To Restore Chesapeake Bay Watershed Habitats; $1.8 Million+ To Benefit PA

On November 13, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced 25 grants totaling $7.4 million for projects that support wildlife habitat, climate resilience, community conservation partnerships, and equitable access to nature in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 

This year’s grants will advance the goals of the Chesapeake Watershed Investments in Landscape Defense (Chesapeake WILD) Program and leverage more than $12 million in grantee matching funds, for a total conservation impact of $19.4 million.

Pennsylvania projects include--

-- American Bird Conservancy - Creating and Enhancing a Climate Resilient Habitat Mosaic in Upper Tributary Watersheds and Forest Systems, $749,600: Improve habitat conditions within two upper tributary watersheds encompassing approximately 1,400 acres in the Michaux State Forest. Project will stabilize and build resiliency in several populations of species of highest conservation concern, including eastern brook trout, timber rattlesnake and ruffed grouse.

-- ClearWater Conservancy - Permanently Conserving Forest Habitats and Wildlife in Centre County, $155,700: Permanently conserve over 250 acres of vital forest and wildlife habitat. Project will create an updated forest management plan to enhance existing young forest habitat on the property and educate local foresters and landowners about the importance of prioritizing imperiled birds and other wildlife species.

-- Western Pennsylvania Conservancy - Restoring Freshwater Mussel Communities in the West Branch Susquehanna River, $411,500: Establish a partnership among state, academic and nonprofit entities to enhance freshwater mussel restoration efforts in the West Branch Susquehanna River. Project will prioritize the resilience and propagation of mussels within the watershed while improving aquatic habitat and water quality.

-- Ruffed Grouse Society - Utilizing Partners and Forest Management Practices to Improve Early and Late Successional Habitats Along the Kittatinny Ridge, $546,500: Work with partners to apply forest management practices to benefit over 1,600 acres of habitat along the Kittatinny Ridge. Project will control invasive plants, enhance late-successional habitat characteristics, create early-successional habitats through regeneration harvests, and improve roads to better enable forest management and habitat restoration.

Click Here for a complete list of projects.

“This partner-driven program prioritizes projects that are led by communities and that respond to climate change,” said US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams. “The work done through these funded projects helps ensure we achieve meaningful and lasting outcomes for all watershed residents now and in the future.” 

“The Chesapeake WILD program adds critical new resources, agency support and technical assistance investments for habitat restoration and protection, public access and community engagement activities across the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and chief executive officer of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. “We look forward to working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our many partners in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to continue building on the foundation’s long legacy of conservation and restoration efforts in the region.” 

Click Here for the complete announcement.

Visit the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation website for more funding opportunities.

[Posted: November 13, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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