National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program
Habitat and Resource Conservation
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AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: Fish & Wildlife Service Announces $20 Million in Grants to Conserve Coastal Wetlands

Today, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced $20 million in grants to 24 critical coastal wetland projects in 13 states and territories to conserve and restore coastal wetlands and their fish and wildlife habitat.  An additional $21.3 million in matching funds will be provided by partner contributions from state and local governments, private landowners and conservation groups through the 2013 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program.

“When President Obama unveiled his America’s Great Outdoors initiative three years ago, our goal was to work with communities across the country to create a 21st century conservation ethic,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “Our coastal grants program is a model of this kind of partnership, conserving vital wetlands hand-in-hand in partners from Maine to the Pacific Northwest to as far away as American Samoa in the South Pacific.”

Coastal areas comprise less than 10 percent of the nation’s land area yet support a significant number of wildlife species, including 75 percent of migratory birds, nearly 80 percent of fish and shellfish and about half of all threatened and endangered species.

News Release
List of Awards


The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program was established by Title III of P.L. 101-646, Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act of 1990. Under the Program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides matching grants to States for acquisition, restoration, management or enhancement of coastal wetlands. The Act also establishes a role for the Fish and Wildlife Service in interagency wetlands restoration and conservation planning in Louisiana.

To date, about $183 million in grant monies have been awarded to 25 coastal States and one U.S. Territory and to acquire, protect or restore over 250,000 acres of coastal wetland ecosystems. Typically, between $13 million and $17 million in grants are awarded annually through a nationwide competitive process. Funding for the program comes from excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat and small engine fuels.

States provide 50 percent of the total costs of a project. If, however, the State has established and maintains a special fund for acquiring coastal wetlands, other natural areas or opens spaces, the Federal share can be increased to 75 percent. Territories and Commonwealths are not required to share the costs of projects except for Puerto Rico. Grants awarded under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program cannot exceed $1 million for an individual project.

Projects are selected based on ranking factors contained in Title 50, Part 84 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The Act itself provides that projects will be given priority if they are:

  • Consistent with the National Wetlands Priority Conservation Plan.
  • Located in States with dedicated land acquisition programs.
  • Located in maritime forests on coastal barrier islands.

Additional ranking factors developed by the Service include giving credit to projects that benefits to threatened and endangered species, promote partnerships, and support conservation and recovery programs. The program will not provide grants to support planning, research, monitoring activities, or construction or repair of structures for recreational purposes.

For proposal submission deadlines, please check the 2008 Program Schedule or contact the Coastal Program Coordinator in your Region.

To learn more about the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program:

  • For information about previous years' grants see the press releases for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
  • Statistics on the dollars spent and acres protected and/or restored since 1992 are provided by the Service's Division of Federal Assistance.
  • The program fact sheet PDF answers many commonly asked questions.
  • The application process and annual grant awards schedule is provided in the program guidance PDF.

If you would like more information on the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, please contact us.

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Division of Federal Assistance


National Wetlands Conservation Grant Program Guidance 

Regional and State Contact Information


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Reference Documents

Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States. PDF (30 MB)

Ecology of Maritime Forests of Southern Atlantic Coast. PDF (5 MB)

Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977. PDF (2 MB)

National Wetlands Priority Conservation Plan. PDF (4 MB)

Last updated: February 25, 2013
Fisheries and Habitat Conservation
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