The has announced grants totaling $2.19 million to restore, enhance, and protect more than sixty thousand acres of forest and wetland habitats in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Awarded through the , a partnership between NFWF and the and the , with additional funding from , the , and the , the grants are expected to generate $1.5 million in matching contributions, for a total conservation impact of more than $3.6 million.
The Mississippi Alluvial Valley is a forested wetland system that provides important habitat for migratory birds — approximately 40 percent of North America's waterfowl and nearly 60 percent of all U.S. bird species migrate or winter in the region. In total, the projects will result in the restoration of twenty-five thousand acres of bottomland hardwood forest, enhancements to more than thirteen thousand acres of existing bottomland hardwood and upland forest habitat, improvements in the hydrologic function of some twenty-four thousand acres of wetlands and floodplains, and the protection of nearly twenty-two thousand acres of bottomland hardwood forest and wetland habitats. Recipients of the grants include the , the , and .
"We are excited that NRCS and [the] U.S. Forest Service are contributing to this private lands restoration effort in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley," said Homer Wilkes, director of the USDA Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Team. "Through this, we hope to build on previous conservation efforts as well as expand them across the diverse communities of this culturally and agriculturally rich area."