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Conserving America’s Wetlands 2007:
Three Years of Progress
Implementing the President’s Goal

Appendix F.
Department of the Interior

DOI Programs Supporting the President’s Wetlands Goal

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Land Acquisition Program:
The program is focused on consolidating land ownership and conserving resource values within 2,300 units, which compose the Bureau’s Special Management Areas. Acquisition through exchange, purchase, and donation is an important component of BLM’s land management strategy. BLM acquires land and easements in land when in the public interest and consistent with publicly approved land-use plans. Wetlands, in concert with other important resource values in these Special Recreation Management Areas, are an important factor in developing purchase, donation, and exchange initiatives.

Management of Lands and Resources/Oregon and California Grant Lands: The BLM uses these appropriations to address a wide variety of natural resource management needs. These activities frequently include on-the-ground projects that conserve, protect, and restore wetlands. Funding to protect, manage, and reforest the revested Oregon and California Railroad grant lands is also used for projects that directly restore and protect wetlands. Funding made available for wetlands-related conservation activities depend on annual funding levels and competing resource priorities within BLM.

National Park Service (NPS) Exotic Plant Management Teams: The invasion of exotic, invasive plants can dramatically alter wetland ecosystems by changing plant community composition, waterflow patterns, water temperatures, and habitat for invertebrates, fish, and other wildlife species. Sixteen Exotic Plant Management Teams deployed in parks across the country, in concert with park programs, are targeting the control of invasive plants and restoration of wetland ecosystems. Treatments are focused on areas where invasive plant infestations are just taking hold, at the source of infestations, and in areas were management is coordinated across jurisdictions. More information on the teams and invasive plant programs is available at y/invasivespecies

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Coastal Program: The Coastal Program works in 22 specific coastal communities to improve the health of watersheds for fish, wildlife, and people by building partnerships; identifying, evaluating, and mapping important habitats; restoring habitats; and providing technical assistance and financial support to help protect important coastal habitats. Since 1994, the program has restored 115,000 acres of coastal
wetlands, 28,000 acres of coastal uplands, and more than 1,150 miles of coastal streamside habitat. It has also helped protect 1.35 million acres of coastal habitat. FWS also provides technical assistance to other Federal, state, and local agencies under this program.

Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance (FWMA): This program delivers scientific information and projects that support cooperative efforts to conserve America’s fisheries and wildlife resources. FWMA includes on-the-ground conservation activities, such as assessing the condition of habitats, restoring stream and wetland habitats, restoring fish passage, and controlling aquatic nuisance species through physical, chemical, and biological means.

Landowner Incentive Program: This program provides grants to state and tribal conservation agencies to help landowners restore habitats of listed, proposed, candidate, or other species determined to be at risk on private and tribal lands. Many of these species occur in wetland environments, and states and tribes focus some of their efforts on wetland habitats as appropriate. These efforts may range from providing technical assistance and developing wildlife management plans for these species and their habitats, to performing actual habitat manipulation as appropriate, to acquiring conservation easements or other forms of protection on wetlands.

National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program (CWPPRA Funds): Since 1990, the program has made available $183 million to 25 coastal states and one U.S. territory to acquire, conserve, or restore over 250,000 acres of coastal wetland ecosystems. Typically, $13 to $17 million is awarded annually through a national competitive process. Grants for an individual project are limited to $1 million. Funding for this program comes from excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat and small engine fuels. States are required to provide either 50 or 75 percent of the total cost of the project, depending on whether the state has established and maintains a special fund for acquiring coastal wetlands, other natural areas, and open space. The program does not provide grants to support planning, research, monitoring activities, or construction or repair of structures for recreational purposes.

National Wildlife Refuge System: The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by FWS, is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. Approximately one-quarter of the 96-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System consists of wetlands. The Refuge System protects, restores, rehabilitates, enhances, and conducts research on these wetlands. The Refuge System manages wetlands to enhance their value for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, threatened and endangered species, and a myriad of native fish, wildlife, and plants. The wetland restoration and conservation programs of the Refuge System protect the biodiversity and environmental health of these habitats across diverse landscapes, and provide wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities for the American public.

North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Program: This program supports voluntary public–private partnerships to conserve North American wetland ecosystems. It provides matching grants to public and private groups and agencies for wetlands restoration and protection in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. More than 14.6 million acres of wetlands and associated uplands have been affected by protection, restoration, or enhancement activities since 1991.

North American Waterfowl Management Plan–Joint Ventures: This tri-national strategic plan fosters the creation of partnerships between the Federal government, states, tribes, corporations, private organizations, and individuals to cooperate in the planning, funding, and implementation of projects to conserve and enhance wetland habitat in high-priority “joint venture” regions. The plan calls for 16.1 million acres of wetlands and associated uplands to be protected and 12.1 million acres to be restored or enhanced.

Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program: Authorized by the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act, this voluntary program, begun in 1987, works with landowners to restore wetlands on private lands using cooperative agreements. The FWS has entered into more than 41,000 agreements with partners. The program has restored 800,000 acres of wetlands, more than 1.6 million acres of uplands, and more than 6,000 miles of riparian and instream habitat. FWS also provides technical assistance to other Federal, state, and local agencies under this program.

DOI Programs that Maintain the Wetlands Base

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR)
Wildlife Habitat Augmentation Program: The program’s purpose is to implement projects that protect, enhance, and restore riparian, wetland, and associated habitats within the watersheds of USBR’s California Central Valley Project. This project consists of a system of 18 dams and reservoirs, canals, power plants, and other facilities located mainly in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. The project manages about nine million acre-feet of water for urban, industrial, agricultural, and environmental uses; produces electrical power; and provides benefits for flood protection, navigation, fish and wildlife, recreation, and water quality.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System: In FY 2006, the National Wildlife Refuge System managed 145,461 acres for moist soils and 945,771 acres received other water-level manipulation. In FY 2007, those management activity accomplishments are expected to be 115,030 moist soil acres managed, with water-level manipulation being achieved on 888,436 acres of water impoundments. FY 2008 funding request is $8.152 million.

National Wetlands Inventory (NWI): The goal of the NWI is to produce information on the characteristics, extent, and status of the Nation’s wetlands and deepwater and riparian habitats in order to promote the understanding and conservation of these resources. Federal, state, and local government agencies; tribes; academic institutions; Congress; and the private sector use this information and digital maps to guide natural resource planning, management, and project development. Wetlands data are used in planning for emerging conservation issues such as energy development, avian influenza, and global climate change, where they are used to model sea-level rise. The wetlands data are available over the Internet. Wetlands status and trend data and reports provide contemporary information for decisionmaking and for wetlands policy formulation and assessment. The FY 2008 funding request is $4.8 million.

Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program: The Division of Environmental Quality provides approximately $1.5 million in toxicology, ecology, and habitat restoration expertise to EPA and other Federal and state partners to minimize impacts to wetlands during the cleanup of contaminated areas. The division makes substantial contributions to maintaining the base of wetland acres as well as restoring and improving wetlands at former hazardous waste sites and areas impacted by oil and chemical spills.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

USGS provides scientific expertise to address wetlands management issues identified by Federal resource managers. This expertise helps decision makers build and implement adaptive management strategies to support wetlands restoration and creation and to effectively improve and protect coastal, forested, and freshwater wetlands. USGS wetlands science addresses priorities in understanding the wetland structure, dynamics, functions, and interactions with the surrounding landscape; responses to natural and anthropogenic stressors; role of wetland functions (ecosystem services) from a socioeconomic perspective; and the support tools to help managers identify and achieve sustainable wetland conditions in restoration, creation, and rehabilitation activities. USGS wetlands research is primarily focused in the following regions:

Prairie Pothole Region/Great Plains: Research in this region expands the ecological understanding of processes that influence wetland functions and values in agriculture landscapes. Research on global climate change, sediment and nutrient dynamics, the effectiveness of wetland restoration and enhancement for flood storage and wildlife habitat, and the potential of prairie pothole wetlands to sequester carbon are also being addressed. FY 2008 funding request is $0.375 million.

Great Lakes: In this region, the effects of Great Lakes water-level fluctuations on wetlands are being researched, in addition to global climate change studies of wetlands that focus on interactions between climate change, lake levels, groundwater hydrology, and wetland response. This research provides scientific information to support the restoration, conservation, and management of wetlands. FY 2008 funding request is $0.790 million.

Gulf Coast: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita placed a high priority on research, spatial analyses, predictive modeling, technology development, and information synthesis and outreach related to the impacts to the Nation’s critical Gulf Coast coastal and freshwater wetlands and habitats. USGS wetlands science in this region provides the scientific information needed by resource managers and planners to stabilize, restore, rehabilitate, and manage wetlands, including seagrass beds, inland grass beds, coastal saltwater and freshwater marshes, and forested wetlands. In addition, global climate change studies in the Lower Mississippi River Valley focus on riverine and coastal wetland response to CO2 levels and sealevel rise. FY 2008 funding request is $6.63 million.

Atlantic Coast: Wetlands research in the Atlantic region provides scientific information on restoration, enhancement, and creation of coastal and estuarine wetlands. Studies on global climate change focus on wetland response to sea-level rise and wetlands management options. In addition, the effects of varying fire regimes on wetland habitats and response to sealevel rise are being investigated. FY 2008 funding request is $2.376 million.