DLNR to Acquire and Permanently Protect Molokai Freshwater Pond

As part of the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources will acquire and permanently protect a 66-acre freshwater pond on Moloka’i, including the island’s largest freshwater pond.

Hawaiian Coot

Hawaiian Coot

The pond provides habitat for the endangered Hawaiian coot and the Hawaiian stilt, but faces an imminent threat from sedimentation and invasive plants that degrade, fill and eliminate wetland habitat.

Hawaiian Stilt

Hawaiian Stilt

Restoration will include the removal of invasive plants encroaching on the pond and removal of a large accumulation of sediment that has displaced a portion of the pond.

This project is a crucial part of a larger plan to protect the Pua’ahala watershed as a new state wildlife sanctuary extending from the mountains to the coral reefs.

molokai grant

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced over $21 million will be provided to 25 projects in 13 coastal and Great Lakes states to protect, restore or enhance more than 11,000 acres of coastal wetlands and adjacent upland habitats under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program.

State and local governments, private landowners, conservation groups and other partners will contribute over $35 million in additional funds to these projects, which include acquiring, restoring or enhancing coastal wetlands and adjacent uplands to provide long-term conservation benefits to fish and wildlife and their habitats.

The program, funded through taxes paid on equipment and fuel purchases by recreational anglers and boaters, creates significant benefits for other recreationists and the American public. The billions of dollars generated through recreational angling, boating, waterfowl hunting and bird watching benefit communities in the vicinity of wetlands restoration projects.

Click here for the complete list of projects funded by the 2015 grant program.

The Service awards grants of up to $1 million to states based on a national competition, which enables states to determine and address their highest conservation priorities in coastal areas. Since 1992, the Service has awarded over $357 million in grants under the program.

Conservation of coastal wetlands ecosystems will not only benefits coastal wetland-dependent wildlife, but will also enhance flood protection and water quality, and provide economic and recreational benefits to anglers, boaters, hunters and wildlife watchers.

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