Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that Maine has received a total of $1,786,308 to restore, increase, and strengthen coastal communities, as well as enhance habitats for fish and wildlife. This funding was awarded through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF).
“Maine is home to countless coastal communities and precious ocean ecosystems, supporting the livelihoods of thousands of hardworking Mainers in the fishing and maritime industries,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “These investments will help reduce land loss along our coast and restore wetland habitats, ensuring that Mainers can enjoy these natural resources in our state for generations to come.”
The funding will be allocated as follows:
· The Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission will receive $130,000 to develop a coastal resilience plan in southern Maine.
· The Downeast Salmon Federation will receive $107,780 to restore more than 50 acres of salt marsh; provide sea-level rise and storm surge protection; and protect fish, wildlife, and plant species at the Machias Bay estuary in Washington County.
· The Maine Department of Marine Resources will receive $1,548,528 to increase the fish habitat in SabattusRiver, restore several miles of the Androscoggin River, and improve water quality.
The NCRF grants will contribute to the restoration or enhancement of natural features such as coastal marshes and wetlands, dune and beach systems, oyster reefs, forests, coastal rivers, and barrier islands. These natural buffers can help reduce the impacts of storms, rising sea levels, and other extreme events on nearby communities and habitats.