WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 7, 2019) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced more than $158,000 in grants to support on-the-ground conservation, capacity building, peer-to-peer workshops, and enhanced access to hunting and fishing experiences within the National Wildlife Refuge System in 11 states across the country. Grantee organizations have committed more than $399,000 in matching contributions, generating a total conservation impact of more than $557,000.
The 15 grants were awarded through the National Wildlife Refuge Friends Program (Friends), a partnership between NFWF, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Enbridge Inc. The program provides competitive grants that enable Friends organizations to develop and implement conservation projects, strengthen organizational capacity and skills, meet local refuge challenges, and build community recognition and support.
A portion of the 2019 funds will support a special program initiative to enhance public access and increase hunting and fishing experiences on National Wildlife Refuges. These projects will create new access through boat docks and trails, and enhance hunting and fishing experiences through education and programming. This is the second year of this initiative.
Grants were awarded to National Wildlife Refuge Friends organizations in Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont and Washington.
“National Wildlife Refuge Friends organizations enhance conservation efforts and expand access to outdoor activities nationwide,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The 15 projects awarded today will restore habitat for wildlife, increase hunting and fishing programs, and raise awareness of volunteer opportunities offered by local Friends groups.”
“Friends organizations perform wonders for national wildlife refuges, making conservation efforts go farther while bettering communities and enriching people's lives,” said Cynthia Martinez, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System. “We applaud Friends’ continued efforts to help refuges expand access to outdoor recreation and create new hunting and fishing opportunities. The NFWF grants recognize the importance of these efforts to youngsters and their families across the country.”
“Enbridge is pleased to partner with National Wildlife Refuge Friends in order to provide more access for Americans so that they can enjoy the great outdoors,” said Brad Shamla, vice president of U.S. operations at Enbridge. “These natural resources — the wildlife and the environment – are precious treasures for every community, and we recognize that people of all ages should have an opportunity to fully experience these National Wildlife Refuges.”
A complete list of the 2019 grants made through the National Wildlife Refuge Friends Grant Program is available at www.nfwf.org/refugefriends.
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