The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has announced grants totaling nearly $1.1 million in support of projects designed to restore and enhance habitats for native and vulnerable freshwater aquatic species in the southeastern United States.
Awarded through NFWF's Southeast Aquatics Fund, a partnership between NFWF and the U.S. Forest Service, the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Southern Company, the grants will support efforts to improve more than fifteen miles of stream habitat and restore thirty acres of wetland and riparian habitat in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Texas for species either listed under the Endangered Species Act or at risk of being listed, including the trispot darter, bridled darter, and vermilion darter; the Coosa creekshell; Alabama rainbow; black warrior waterdog; and flattened musk turtle. Targeting areas within the Conasauga and Locust Fork watersheds of the Alabama-Mobile-Tombigbee Basin, the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Basin, and the Colorado River Basin in Texas, the six projects also will provide technical assistance to private landowners, with the aim of increasing their awareness of conservation needs, practices, and cost-share programs.
The awards are expected to generate $1.1 million in matching contributions, for a total impact of $2.2 million.
"The Southeast has many endangered or at-risk aquatic species, and we're encouraged to see our partners grow with us as we announce our third year of grants and expand our work to Texas," said NFWF executive director and CEO Jeff Trandahl. "The native habitats this program helps to conserve are absolutely imperative to the recovery of these unique species."
For a complete list of the funded projects, see the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation website.
(Photo credit: Jason Pratt)