The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and ConocoPhillips have announced grants totaling $994,000 in support of efforts to improve habitats and water and biodiversity conservation projects in six states.
Awarded through the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation and Innovation Program — a partnership between NFWF, ConocoPhillips, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — the grants will generate $1.9 million in matching contributions, for a total of $2.9 million for projects in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Texas, and Wyoming.
In Alaska, the grants will support efforts to remove a stream passage barrier and open up seven miles of habitat for five species of Pacific Salmon, study the use of northern Alaska's barrier island ecosystem by nesting common eiders, and determine the most important staging sites on the Arctic Coast for arctic breeding shorebirds. Projects in Colorado and Texas will focus on restoring grassland bird habitat and engaging landowners in voluntary habitat practices, while those along the Gulf Coast will rapidly accelerate mangrove planting and expand oyster reefs to improve wetland health and prevent coastal erosion. And in Idaho and Wyoming, an innovative pilot water market for groundwater recharge is expected to improve the Teton River aquifer by ten thousand acre feet and promote wetland health and streamflow.
"These grants combine proven approaches and cutting-edge practices to maximize conservation benefits," said NFWF executive director and CEO Jeff Trandahl. "They will support time-tested, cost-effective habitat restoration strategies in key areas while also providing resources to foster the application of emerging tools to address some of the most pressing conservation challenges in these locations."