WASHINGTON, July 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced 13 grants totaling more than $1.2 million that will restore and sustain healthy forests and rivers that provide habitat for diverse native bird and freshwater fish populations in the six New England states. Projects supported by the grants are expected to restore 13 miles of eroded stream bank, provide fish access to 118 miles of streams, improve 75 acres of young forest habitat, permanently protect 2,965 acres of diverse habitat for fish and wildlife, and engage hundreds of volunteers in conservation.
The grants are the first awarded through NFWF's New England Forests and Rivers Fund, which was launched this spring. Major funding is provided by Eversource's Partners for New Hampshire's Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service.
"With the support provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Eversource, these grants will protect and restore vital freshwater and forest habitats throughout New England," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO at NFWF. "The success of this public-private partnership in its first year of funding on-the-ground conservation is notable, and is a credit to the exceptional conservation work being done by the grantees announced today."
The grant recipients are:
- American Rivers - Assessing Fish Barrier Priority Modifications in the Connecticut River Tributaries (Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont): $50,324
- Atlantic Salmon Federation - Blackstone Brook Fish Passage Restoration (Maine): $60,000
- Connecticut River Watershed Council - Getting Conservation on the Ground - Outreach and Assistance For Limited Resource Landowners (Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont): $64,540
- Connecticut River Watershed Council - Restoring Connectivity Through Fish Barrier Modifications on Oliverian Brook (New Hampshire): $65,000
- Housatonic Valley Association - Improving Eastern Brook Trout Habitat and Infrastructure Resiliency in Northwest Connecticut (Connecticut): $125,000
- Merrimack River Watershed Council - Expanding Riparian Forest Buffers to Improve Water Quality Using a Precision Stormwater Approach (Massachusetts and New Hampshire): $103,971
- Project SHARE - Science-Based Habitat Restoration of the Upper Narraguagus River Watershed (Maine): $100,000
- Trout Unlimited - Kinne Brook Aquatic Connectivity Restoration (Massachusetts): $134,429
- University of New Hampshire - The Stewardship Network: New England - Mobilizing Volunteers for Forest and Riparian Habitat Restoration (New Hampshire): $100,000
- Vermont Center for Ecostudies - Mapping Abundance and Estimating Population Size of Bicknell's Thrush (Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont): $78,588
- Vermont Land Trust - Central Vermont Clear Waters Conservation Initiative (Vermont): $75,000
- Vermont Land Trust - Five Peaks, Four Rivers Conservation Easement (Vermont): $53,000
- Wildlife Management Institute - Restoring Young Forests To Benefit New England Cottontail and American Woodcock (New Hampshire): $200,000
"I am very proud that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is part of this public-private partnership to protect New England's rivers and forests for future generations," said Wendi Weber, northeast director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Working together, we are successfully leveraging dollars to support sound science in the right places for the conservation of fish, birds and other native wildlife."
"Eversource is pleased to partner in an effort that will deliver wide-reaching results across New England," said Bill Quinlan, President of New Hampshire Electric Operations for Eversource. "The work of these conservation groups and their dedicated volunteers mirrors our employees' commitment to the beauty and treasured resources of our region."
"Targeted, proactive conservation on private working lands improves water quality and stream corridors while enhancing habitat for vulnerable wildlife like New England cottontail and golden-winged warbler and fishes like eastern brook trout and Atlantic salmon," NRCS Chief Jason Weller said. "We're proud to work with landowners and land managers who voluntarily step forward to make conservation improvements to their land. Their decisions not only help conserve natural resources but help them make their agricultural operations more efficient and resilient, leading to a win-win for natural resources and rural economies."
"I appreciate the diversity of projects that were submitted and funded, and commend those working on all aspects of forest and river conservation and restoration," said Constance Carpenter, Northeast Area Field Representative for the US Forest Service, State and Private Forestry Program. "The grantees will be engaged in significant restoration projects that support the Northeast Area's strategic goals to conserve and manage working forest landscapes, protect forests from threats and enhance public benefits from trees and forests."
For additional information about the 13 grants announced today, please click here.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation's wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,000 organizations and committed more than $2.9 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
CONTACT: Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166
Source:National Fish and Wildlife Foundation