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Partnership to enhance wildlife refuge

MISSISSIPPI DELTA — U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) announced the approval of a public-private project to protect and enhance 2,792 acres of wetlands associated with Mississippi’s Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge Complex (TRNWRC).

Cochran serves on the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission that approved a $921,209 grant to support the TRNWRC wetlands project, which will be matched with almost $2.5 million in private matching funds from six partners, including three landowners.

The TRNWRC project’s private sector partners—Ducks Unlimited, Wetlands American Trust, Walker Foundation and three private landowners—are contributing 1,952 acres along with the nearly $2.5 million for the long-range wetlands project. It will also involve 840 acres of federal property associated with the Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and Morgan Brake NWR, both part of the TRNWRC.

The Mississippi wetlands project is one of 34 projects in 24 states recently approved by the commission to receive more than $33.4 million in matching grant funding to help conserve or restore more than 190,000 acres of wetlands and associated habitats throughout the United States. Private partners will match this funding with an additional $89.3 million.

The Commission approves the projects through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act of 1989 (NAWCA) and the U.S. Standard Grants Program established by this law. Since its enactment two decades ago, more than $1 billion in grants has been awarded through the NAWCA for wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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