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Coastal Program

Before and after photos of seagrass restoration efforts at a coastal project in Galveston, Texas.
The Coastal Program leads Fish and Wildlife Service conservation efforts in bays, estuaries, and watersheds around the U.S. coastline. The Coastal Program leverages Federal funding with partners at a ratio of 1:4. Through this program, the Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners conserve fish and wildlife and their habitats to support healthy coastal ecosystems by: Providing assessment and planning tools to identify priority habitats that should be protected and restored; Conserving pristine coastal habitats through voluntary conservation easements and locally initiated land acquisition; Restoring degraded coastal wetland, upland, and stream habitats by working with partners to implement on-the-ground projects; and Focusing resources through conservation alliances that leverage the financial and technical resources of our partners and multiply the impact of the taxpayer dollar.

In Winyah Bay, South Carolina, for example, the Coastal Program partners with a task force to protect coastal wetlands. Sandy Island was identified by the Winyah Bay task force for protection because of potential development related to access by a bridge to the mainland. The task force includes diverse members such as private landowners, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nature Conservancy, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the Historic Rice Fields Association, Ducks Unlimited, International Paper Company, and the Low Country Open Land Trust. Sandy Island supports a significant population of the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. The Coastal Program office has worked closely with the task force to identify regionally significant habitats and to protect these areas to benefit coastal resources at a landscape scale. The Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge was recently established with the support of the task force, and includes Sandy Island within its boundary.

Coastal Program Accomplishments
(FY 2001-2003)

Wetland acres restored and protected: 215,097 acres
Upland acres protected: 751,852 acres
Stream and streamside habitat restored and protected: 3,105 miles
Fish barriers removed:
Partnership agreements: 323

June 2004