Ecosystem Services in Working Lands: US Northeast

4.4.2 Programs for Supporting Institutions

4.4.2.1 Healthy aquatic habitats

Unlike the other programs available to producers in this category, the incentive programs for supporting institutions are directed largely toward wildlife habitat (n=12) (Figure 12).

State government programs. These programs include the USFWS/ Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group’s Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) program, which provides grants to the states, the District of Columbia, and insular-area fish and wildlife agencies for fishery projects, boating access, and aquatic education. The SFR program was modeled after the Wildlife Restoration program and aims to restore and better manage America’s declining fishery resources. Municipal government programs . The Delaware Coastal Training program offers training and assistance to local governments through the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Coastal Training program also offers resources to help communities make informed decisions. For non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and municipalities, programs like the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership’s Habitat Protection Fund Award provides cost-sharing grants to support the permanent protection of aquatic habitats in the Casco Bay Watershed of Maine. Municipal government and NGO programs. The Casco Bay Estuary Partnership resembles other partnership efforts that connect with local communities in the interest of aquatic habitat preservation. For example, the Association of National Estuary Programs and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation support the Long Island Sound Futures Fund, which funds projects in local communities that aim to protect and restore Long Island Sound. In these efforts, the program brings together federal and state agencies as well as various foundations and corporations with the goal of achieving high-priority conservation objectives in Long Island Sound. In addition to these partnership programs, there are a number of other public regional programs with similar conservation interests. The Northeastern Regional Aquaculture Center (NRAC) at the University of Maryland, for example, is one of five Regional Aquaculture Centers established by Congress. With funding from the USDA, the NRAC functions like a Cooperative Extension program for the aquaculture industry in the U.S. Northeast, developing and conducting research and Extension activities in the interest of supporting producers and businesses.

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