This Week at Interior September 3, 2021


This Week at Interior... 

Multiple Interior Bureaus are assisting with search and rescue efforts, assessing widespread damage and tracking flood measurements, and other FEMA mission assignments in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Secretary Deb Haaland shared a message of support for Interior employees in the region, and all those working to restore and rebuild.

The Department announced this week that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will conduct an environmental review of a proposed commercial-scale wind project offshore New York. The project proposes to build up to one hundred twenty-two wind turbines that can power nearly six-hundred thousand homes. It's part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance ambitious wind energy projects that create good-paying union jobs ... invest in American infrastructure and support critical research and data sharing. .

Consistent with the Biden-Harris administration’s America the Beautiful initiative, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week opened new or expanded hunting and sport fishing opportunities across two-point-one million acres, the largest expansion of the Service’s outdoor recreation opportunities in recent history. The changes come in time for the upcoming 20-21/20-22 hunting seasons.

The public will soon have access to more hiking trails thanks to the Bureau of Land Management’s acquisition of two parcels of land. The land is located in the Cougar Bay area on the west side of Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The purchase will protect public access into the future and preserve the area from development, protecting a diverse wildlife habitat.

The National Park Service announced seven-point-twenty-seven million dollars in Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants to eleven recipients in ten states. The grants support the preservation of historic buildings in rural communities across the country. This marks the third year of funding for the program. State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, Certified Local Governments, and nonprofits are all eligible to apply for funding.

The U-S Fish and Wildlife is working to save the rusty patched bumble bee. The bee was listed as endangered in 20-17. Rusty patched bumble bees are found in ten states from Maine to Minnesota. The bumble bees are not only necessary for native wildflower reproduction...they also create seeds and fruits that feed diverse wildlife like songbirds and even grizzly bears. Their economic value in the U-S is estimated at three-billion dollars per year.

WaterSMART Small Scale Water Efficiency Grants The Bureau of Reclamation awarded more than one-hundred projects nearly nine-point-two million dollars in WaterSMART grants this week. These grants will help local communities make water efficiency improvements such as installing flow measurement, automating a water delivery system, or modeling and forecasting capabilities. The program supports the Biden-Harris administration's work to increase a community's resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Making good ideas pay...the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement announced the availability of fiscal year 20-21 Applied Sciences Program funding. O-S-M-R-E will provide those funds to eligible applicants for projects that help develop new reclamation science and technology. These efforts are aimed to better protect endangered species, improve re-forestation, protect prime farmland and mitigate harmful environmental hazards.

And with our social media Picture of the Week... a great blue heron stands in the sunset waters at Maryland's Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. The great blue heron is the largest of the North American herons.

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That’s This Week, at Interior.

This Week: Secretary Haaland shares a message of support for Interior employees and all those working to restore and rebuild after Hurricane Ida; Interior announces an environmental review of a proposed offshore wind energy facility; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expands hunting and sport fishing opportunities; the Bureau of Land Management acquires land near Cougar Bay; the National Park Service announces $7.27 million in historic revitalization grants; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the final recovery plan for the rusty patched bumble bee; the Bureau of Reclamation awards more than $9 million in WaterSMART grants; the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement opens Applied Science funding opportunities; and a great blue heron is our social media Picture of the Week!