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Migratory bird funding in MN and ND

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission approved $61.3 million in funding to protect, restore and enhance more than 205,000 acres of wetlands and associated uplands in North America.

Of that, approximately $6.5 million will go toward projects in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest Region.

In Minnesota, border prairie wetlands will receive $1 million ($2.3 million matching).

This project brings partners together to accelerate protection and restoration of prairie wetlands and associated wildlife in the Prairie Pothole Region.

Partners will protect 338 acres of wetlands and 995 acres of adjacent uplands critical for nesting waterfowl and other wildlife.  By protecting those acres and restoring 44 acres of wetlands and 250 acres of uplands on permanently protected lands, partners will optimize waterfowl production and enhance grassland bird habitats, benefitting species such as mallards, teal, American wigeon, northern shovelers and other waterfowl and water-dependent birds.

The Glaciated Wetlands and Prairies of North Dakota and Minnesota will receive $1 million ($1.1 million matching).

This is phase four of a project designed to protect wetland and grassland communities using a landscape-level approach to planning.  It is also the third project to span the borders of North Dakota and Minnesota in the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture to protect critical habitat for migratory birds.

Through this project, 3,456 acres of native grassland and 594 acres of wetland habitat will be secured by perpetual easements, resulting in significant benefits for grassland birds.

Protection of native prairie surrounding the important prairie wetland habitats in the project area will provide nesting habitat for waterfowl and other species, and will minimize the influx of sediments, herbicides and pesticides into these wetlands.

Small grant awards include 19 projects totaling $1,514,988 and $4,124,810 in matching funds.

“Conservation of our nation’s wetlands is critical to protecting our wildlife, watersheds, coastal communities and important economic activities,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Chair of the Commission.

“Wetlands not only are home to hundreds of species of migratory birds, but they also provide us with clean water, act as buffers against storms, support our vibrant coastal fishing industries, and provide unique opportunities for outdoor recreation.”

The commission approved $54.7 million in grants through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to protect, restore and enhance 200,069 acres of habitat for migratory birds.