Wetlands Program Awards $600,000 in Grants

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has selected 15 wetland and riparian restoration projects that will share in $600,000 in grants for the 2014 Wetlands Program grant cycle.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has selected 15 wetland and riparian restoration projects that will share in $600,000 in grants for the 2014 Wetlands Program grant cycle.  

Approved projects will restore and enhance more than 4,700 acres of wetlands and riparian areas on State Wildlife Areas, State Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, and other public and private lands across Colorado.  Two projects will restore habitats impacted by last September’s flooding.  A project at Boulder County’s Webster Pond will create shallow wetlands from a former gravel mining pit, which will be also be used for native fish rearing.  A project at Loveland’s Morey Wildlife Preserve will improve stream channels for wildlife and fish along the Big Thompson River.

"Wetlands and riparian areas are critically important wildlife habitats,” said Brian Sullivan, Wetlands Program Coordinator for CPW. "Most wildlife species in Colorado use these areas, which represent only a small part of our landscape”. 

The species that will benefit from the projects funded during the 2014 cycle include waterfowl and 20 species of conservation concern, including the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, southwest willow flycatcher, boreal toad, and Arkansas darter.

The funded projects will receive a share of $600,000 that was available this grant cycle.  Funds for the program in 2014 come from lottery-funded Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO).

"GOCO strongly supports wetland and riparian conservation for wildlife, ecosystem and human benefits,” says GOCO’s Executive Director Lise Aangeenbrug.  “Healthy wetlands and riparian areas mean healthy wildlife populations and water supplies, and restoration of these habitats helps build healthy communities”, she said.  GOCO has supported CPW’s wetland and riparian conservation efforts since 1997.  GOCO also provided an additional $250,000 for 10 separate riparian restoration grants in earlier this year.

More than 20 funding partners will contribute more than $1.2 million in matching funds for CPW’s wetland grants.  Funding partners include city, county, state and federal governments, nonprofit conservation organizations, landowners, and volunteers.

“It is especially rewarding to see so many entities stepping up to partner with us in wildlife habitat conservation," said Bob Broscheid, CPW’s Director.  “This is no surprise given the importance of this work to sustaining both game and nongame wildlife and improving waterfowl hunting in Colorado.”

The complete list of 2014 wetland and riparian restoration projects can be found online at: https://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/WetlandsProjectFunding.aspx.