Monday, May 17, 2010

$175 million granted for wetlands conservation

Kristina Skorbach in the Epoch times: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will help restore wetlands in over 22 states and Puerto Rico by providing almost $175 million in funding. USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said he plans to restore an additional 75,000 acres of wetlands this year by joining the Natural Resources Preservation Service’s Wetlands Conservation Program.

Healthy wetlands are critical in protecting the environment, and have functions that range from improving water quality, to preventing flooding and soil erosion, and creating and maintaining good wildlife habitats. Wetlands are sometimes referred to as "nature’s kidneys," and according to the USDA, they naturally filter water and remove contaminants, recharge groundwater, prevent flooding and soil erosion, and slow down the water flow across the surface of the land.
Grants awarded for wetland protection are in addition to the already established conservation plan of American forests. Last month, the USDA granted $72 million for the permanent protection of private forest land in over 33 states through the Forest Legacy Program….

An aerial view of wetlands in Louisiana, from US Fish and Wildlife Service

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