San Diego Refuge Complex wins Fish and Wildlife Service competition to support outdoor education and activities
SAN DIEGO, CA – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex will receive an additional $1 million in funding to reach new audiences and engage Southern California urban communities and youth in conservation and outdoor recreation. The refuge is the first among the nation's urban national wildlife refuges to receive this new award through a nationwide competition.
Director Ashe launched the competition in March 2014 to encourage innovative proposals from refuges across the country to engage new and diverse audiences.
Earlier this year, Secretary Jewell announced that Los Angeles was selected as one of eight pilot cities under the administration's Urban Wildlife Refuge Program to connect urban youth with the great outdoors.
“As the second largest metropolitan area in the United States with 17 million people, Southern California can be a laboratory for the rest of the country to show how to help people who live in a world made of bricks and concrete connect with a world of grass and rivers, fish and wildlife,” said Jewell. “Helping kids feel welcome on public lands at a young age can help create the next generation of conservationists or spark a passion to be good stewards of nature that will last a lifetime.”
Last October, the Department launched an ambitious youth initiative to inspire millions of young people to play, learn, serve and work outdoors. More information on the initiative can be found here.
President Obama strongly supported the initiative by proposing $50.6 million for Interior youth programs in his 2015 budget, representing a $13.6 million (or 37 percent) increase from 2014. Included in the budget is an increase of $2.5 million for the Urban Wildlife Refuge Program, $8 million to expand opportunities for youth education and employment across the National Park Service and an additional $1 million in the Bureau of Indian Affairs for youth programs.