A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
DOI Approves California's Plan for the Coastal Impact Assistance Program
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Interior Department today announced its approval of California's plan for the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP), a major step toward providing more than $24.7 million in federal grant money to the state and 17 of its coastal counties. The approval of California's plan allows the state to submit grant applications for projects involving conservation, restoration, and protection of natural coastal resources.
“The Interior Department is glad to partner with the State of California and its coastal counties to fund projects that will restore and protect the treasured marine and coastal resources along the Golden State,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “Projects outlined in California's plan will support the management of the state's coastal environments to ensure that present and future generations will be able to explore these natural wonders for years to come.”
Today California became the sixth state to receive approval for its plan for the CIAP when MMS Acting Director Walter Cruickshank joined California's Secretary of Natural Resources Mike Chrisman in a signing ceremony onboard the State's marine-patrol vessel Thresher, in Dana Point, CA. The Thresher is part of the California Department of Fish and Game's fleet of patrol boats. California's plan includes a grant application for $1 million to fund up-grades to existing patrol boats and to purchase new patrol boats used to enforce marine laws, investigate fish and wildlife violations, perform search and rescue missions, respond to marine environmental incidents, and to assist with marine research operations.
California's CIAP funds ($24.7 million) will be divided with 65 percent of the funding ($16.0 million), going to the State of California and 35 percent ($8.7 million), being divided among 17 coastal counties. California's CIAP Grant Program Announcement will be posted on www.Grants.gov tomorrow. The announcement provides instructions and guidance on the CIAP grant process. Funding is made available to the State and counties when the grants are awarded. California's CIAP Plan contains 89 projects.
The CIAP was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Through the program, DOI provides $250 million in grants annually, from 2007-2010, to six eligible OCS oil and gas producing states – Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, California, Mississippi, and Texas.