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.

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.”

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

Alaska

Potter Marsh Watershed Conservation Project – Phase 1:
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the Municipality of Anchorage
and the Greatland Trust, will protect a 62-acre tract of urban coastal wetlands ecosystem from
imminent threat of development.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $484,000
Total Cost: $1,484,000

California

Banning Ranch Acquisition:
The California Coastal Conservancy will permanently protect approximately 44 acres in one of
the largest unprotected coastal wetland complexes in southern California through the acquisition
and protection of a 400-acre ranch in Ventura County, California.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $965,900
Total Cost: $1,965,900

Coyote Hills Restoration and Public Access Project:
The California Coastal Conservancy will restore 159 acres of coastal wetlands in the lower
Crandall Creek and Ardenwood Creek watersheds, which are tributaries of the Alameda Flood
Control Channel that drains into San Francisco Bay.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $1,717,000
Total Cost: $2,717,000

Grizzly Island Wildlife Area and New Lands Enhancement:
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will enhance the habitat diversity of coastal
wetlands in the 13,000-acre Grizzly Island Wildlife Area complex in Suisun Marsh in the San
Joaquin River Delta by improving water management and treating invasive vegetation.
Award: $610,263
Match: $517,100
Total Cost: $1,127,363

Herons Head Park Shoreline Resilience Project:
The California Coastal Conservancy, in partnership with the Port of San Francisco, plans to
enhance 13.5 acres of coastal wetlands that are part of the 21-acre Herons Head Park located in
San Francisco California.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $3,725,000
Total Cost: $4,725,000

Mad River Slough – Wadulh Lagoon Restoration Project:
The California Coastal Conservancy, in partnership with Humboldt County Resource
Conservation District, will restore 49 acres of former coastal wetland on land owned by
California Department of Transportation that they intend to donate to Humboldt Bay National
Wildlife Refuge.
Award: $806,990
Match: $366,814
Total Cost: $1,173,804

Connecticut

Bride Brook Restoration
The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection plans to restore 82 acres of degraded
saltmarsh in Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme, Connecticut.
Award: $341,500
Match: $240,474.62
Total Cost: $581,974.62

Delaware

Augustine Creek Wetlands Restoration Project:
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, partnering with
Delaware Wild Lands, will acquire and protect wetlands and wetlands-associated habitats on a
124-acre property on Augustine Creek in New Castle County, Delaware.
Award: $883,000
Match: $402,000
Total Cost: $1,285,000

Florida

Cape Sable Coastal Wetland Restoration Project
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and its partners plan to revitalize the
habitat function of the 50,000-acre Cape Sable freshwater wetland complex in Everglades
National Park by installing a water control structure to reduce tidal influence.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $417,334
Total Cost: $1,417,334


Little Tiger Island Land Acquisition
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in partnership with North Florida Land
Trust will acquire and permanently protect 981 acres of salt marsh and maritime forest habitat in
northern Nassau County, Florida.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $1,070,010
Total Cost: $2,070,010

Georgia

Baptisia Tract Acquisition:
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources will acquire and permanently protect
approximately 2,411 acres of freshwater wetlands and adjacent uplands in the Turtle River
watershed in Wayne County, Georgia.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $500,000
Total Cost: $1,500,000

Hawaii

Ka’ena Point Coastal Wetland Ecosystem Protection Project:
The Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing to enhance 195 acres of
habitat at Ka’ena Point Natural Area Reserve, located on the western tip of O’ahu by repairing,
replacing and extending a predator proof fence, removing predators in the fenced enclosure, and
restoring coastal dunes and intertidal habitat.
Award: $231,775.24
Match: $264,186.17
Total Cost: $495,961.41

Restoring Coastal Wetlands on Kaho’olawe Island:
The Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources plans to enhance 2.69 acres of seasonal
palustrine emergent and scrub-shrub coastal wetlands at Honokanai‘a on Kaho’olawe Island.
Award: $355,531
Match: $259,668
Total Cost: $615,199

Maine

Cousins River Fields and Marsh Conservation Project:
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife plans to protect 42.7 acres of coastal
wetland habitat within the intact and mostly conserved upper Cousins River Marsh system in the
Casco Bay watershed.
Award: $466,365
Match: $211,985
Total Cost: $678,350

Maryland

Tizzard Island Shoreline and Marsh Resiliency Restoration:
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will construct a living shoreline at Tizzard
Island to protect the estuarine tidal marsh and provide nesting habitat for the saltmarsh sparrow
and numerous other species of migratory birds and waterfowl.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $1,169,000
Total Cost: $2,169,000

Oregon

North Fork Siuslaw Tidal Wetlands:
The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board plans to reconnect a portion of the North Fork
Siuslaw River floodplain by acquiring 247 acres of former pasture and wetlands adjacent to the
river near Florence, Oregon.
Award: $520,527
Match: $830,243
Total Cost: $1,350,770

South Carolina

Dawhoo Lake and Wadmacon Creek Acquisition
The South Carolina Conservation Bank and its conservation partners will improve regional
habitat connectivity by acquiring and permanently protecting 1,735-acres of nationally declining
wetlands and floodplain in the Wadmacon Creek watershed.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $422,000
Total Cost: $1,422,000

Great Santee Swamp

The South Carolina Conservation Bank will enlarge the 12,000-acre Wee Tee State Forest by
acquiring 2,118-acres, including 1,824 acres of nationally declining freshwater tidal wetlands
connected to the Santee River in Georgetown County, South Carolina.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $422,000
Total Cost: $1,422,000

Waccamaw River Heritage Preserve Expansion
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and its conservation partners plan to
connect the Waccamaw River Heritage Preserve with the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge
by acquiring 1,660 acres of nationally declining wetlands in Horry County, South Carolina.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $1,571,000
Total Cost: $2,571,000

Washington

Anderson Creek Wetlands Acquisition and Restoration – Phase 2
The Washington Department of Ecology, in partnership with Northwest Watershed Institute and
Washington Department of Natural Resources, plans to permanently protect and restore a 3.6-
acres inholding within the boundaries of the Dabob Bay Natural Area of Puget Sound.
Award: $650,000
Match: $271,000
Total Cost: $921,000

Discovery Creek and Wetlands Acquisition

The Washington State Department of Ecology, in partnership with Northwest Watershed
Institute, will protect 4.3 acres of nationally declining freshwater wetland types in the Discovery
Creek watershed in Jefferson County, Washington.
Award: $727,000
Match: $303,000
Total Cost: $1,030,000

Livingston Bay Acquisition
The Washington Department of Ecology, in partnership with the Whidbey Camano Land Trust,
in collaboration with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Stillaguamish and Tulalip
Tribes, will acquire 93.5 acres of estuarine wetland habitat, and a conservation easement on an
additional 32 acres on Camano Island, Washington.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $425,000
Total Cost: $1,425,000

Milltown Island Estuary Restoration Project
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) plans to restore 220 acres of
WDFW-owned coastal wetlands to improve tidal and riverine influence by removing sections of
levee and excavating tidal channels in Skagit County, Washington.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $417,500
Total Cost: $1,417,500

West Oakland Bay Restoration – Phase 3
The Washington State Department of Ecology, in partnership with the Squaxin Island Tribe as
sub-grantee, plans to complete the final phase of a project designed to restore 18.6 acres of
estuarine wetlands along Goldsborough Creek in West Oakland Bay in Mason County,
Washington.
Award: $1,000,000
Match: $423,000
Total Cost: $1,423,000