The Department of the Interior has announced it will invest $23 million in landscape-scale conservation and restoration in the Prairie Pothole Region states of Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
This major commitment to wetlands that support more than half of North America’s waterfowl is one piece of the department’s plan for $120 million in new conservation funding authorized by legislation in 2022. The plan also includes $20 million for projects in the Lower Mississippi River Valley and $10 million for habitat restoration in the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River.
Taken together, these three pots of funding signal a significant investment in the health of the river and the Central and Mississippi flyways.
“We’re pleased to see this investment in the irreplaceable wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region, which is recognized as some of the most productive waterfowl habitat in the world,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Sportsmen and sportswomen continue to be keenly interested in how the administration is implementing its climate resilience goals by investing in the lands and waters that sequester carbon, provide critical fish and wildlife habitat, and support thriving communities. We celebrate this announcement from DOI and look forward to working with decision-makers to ensure that habitat improvements are made where they will have the greatest impact for fish, wildlife, and Americans.”
Grasslands restoration and other habitat projects that improve climate resilience were also among the funding priorities announced this week.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed its own plan for $850 million in new conservation investments.
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