CPW: Wetland Program awards $600,000 in grants for 2014

Blanca Wetlands via the National Park Service
Blanca Wetlands via the National Park Service

From Colorado Parks and Wildlife:

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has selected 15 wetland and riparian restoration projects that will share in $600,000 in Wetlands Program grants funded by Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO).

Approved projects will restore and enhance more than 4,700 acres of wetlands and riparian areas on State Wildlife Areas, State Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, and other public and private lands across Colorado. Two projects will restore habitats damaged by last September’s flooding. A project at Boulder County’s Webster Pond will create shallow wetlands from a former gravel mining pit, which will also be used for native fish rearing. A project at Loveland’s Morey Wildlife Preserve will improve stream channels for wildlife and fish along the Big Thompson River.

“Wetlands and riparian areas are critically important wildlife habitats,” said Brian Sullivan, CPW Wetlands Program coordinator. “Most wildlife species in Colorado use these areas, which represent only a small part of our landscape.”

Waterfowl aren’t the only species to benefit from these funded restoration projects. Twenty other species of conservation concern, including the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, southwest willow flycatcher, boreal toad and Arkansas darter benefit too.

“GOCO strongly supports wetland and riparian conservation” says GOCO Executive Director Lise Aangeenbrug. “Healthy wetlands and riparian areas mean healthy wildlife populations and water supplies. Restoring these habitats helps build strong communities.”

GOCO, which invests a portion of Colorado Lottery revenues, has supported CPW’s wetland and riparian conservation efforts since 1997. GOCO also provided an additional $250,000 for 10 separate riparian restoration grants earlier this year, all of which include volunteer and Youth Corps labor.

More than 20 funding partners will contribute more than $1.2 million in matching funds for CPW’s wetland grants. Funding partners include city, county, state and federal governments, nonprofit conservation organizations, landowners, and volunteers.

“It is especially rewarding to see so many entities stepping up to partner with us in wildlife habitat conservation,” said Bob Broscheid, CPW director. “This is no surprise given the importance of this work to sustaining both game and nongame wildlife and improving waterfowl hunting in Colorado.”

The complete list of 2014 wetland and riparian restoration projects can be found online at http://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/WetlandsProjectFunding.aspx.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, all of Colorado’s wildlife, and a variety of outdoor recreation. For more information go to http://cpw.state.co.us

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