$1.2 Million Grant to Fund Work by National Wildlife Federation, Local Partners
The Great Marsh Resilience Partnership (GMRP) effort to restore the Great Marsh, led by the National Wildlife Federation and dozens of local project partners, has been awarded a $1.2 million grant through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s $29.8 million 2018 National Coastal Resilience Fund.
The Great Marsh estuary includes New England's largest saltmarsh, extending from Cape Ann in northeastern Massachusetts to the southeastern coast of New Hampshire. The National Wildlife Federation has been collaborating with the GMRP since 2014 to enhance the resiliency of the marsh to sea level rise and coastal storms through a multi-pronged approach that has included marsh and dune restoration, community planning, and sediment transportation modeling. Surrounding communities are reaping the benefits of improved public lands, healthier fish and wildlife habitat, and a strengthened buffer against coastal storms. The New England office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized GMRP with a 2017 Environmental Merit Award.
NFWF, in partnership with NOAA, launched the NCRF in 2018 to support on-the-ground projects that engage communities and reduce their vulnerability to growing risks from coastal storms, sea-level rise, flooding, erosion, wildfires, drought and extreme weather through strengthening natural ecosystems that also benefit fish and wildlife. This award supports strategies that were identified as high-priority next steps to the long-term health and function of the Great Marsh.
“This work includes a mix of traditional and innovative approaches to holistically address the many threats facing this tremendous natural resource,” said Chris Hilke, National Wildlife Federation Senior Program Manager, who directs the project. “This project is protecting Great Marsh communities from increasingly powerful storms and sea level rise while also protecting critical wildlife and habitat resources. Hurricane Sandy showed us that our coastal communities are ill-equipped to handle severe storms and flooding. With climate change bringing more of these mega-storms to our shores, it is imperative we do everything we can now to bolster our natural defenses.”
The Great Marsh restoration project has already produced results:
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.