​NFWF and USFWS Award More Than $149,000 in Grant Funding to National Wildlife Refuge Friends Organizations

Eighteen grants conserve habitat, improve public access to National Wildlife Refuges across the country

Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska | Credit: iStock 

​WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 17, 2018) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced more than $149,000 in grants to support on-the-ground conservation, capacity building, public access enhancements and education, and peer-to-peer workshops within the National Wildlife Refuge System in 17 states across the country. Grantee organizations have committed more than $288,500 in matching contributions, generating a total conservation impact of more than $437,500.  

The 18 grants were awarded through the National Wildlife Refuge Friends Grant Program (Friends), a partnership between NFWF and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The program provides competitive grants that enable Friends organizations to develop and implement conservation projects, strengthen organizational capacity and skills, meet local refuge challenges, and build community recognition and support.

This year, a portion of the funds will support a new program initiative to enhance public access and increase hunting and fishing experiences on National Wildlife Refuges. These projects will create new access through fishing piers and kayak launches and enhance hunting and fishing experiences through education and programing.  

Grants were awarded to National Wildlife Refuge Friends organizations in Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

“National Wildlife Refuge Friends organizations help improve habitats for wildlife and engage people in conservation,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The 18 projects awarded today will help people across the country reconnect with nature, whether that’s through improved access for hiking, birding and fishing, or through educational programs that can be accessed by everyone, including children, the elderly and those with disabilities.”

 “Friends organizations are a powerful force for national wildlife refuges, bringing their ingenuity and can-do spirit to advance conservation and make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Cynthia Martinez, chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System. “This is the first year some of these grants will be used to enhance public access and increase hunting and fishing opportunities.  That will be great news for the hundreds of youngsters and their families who will get their first chance to learn the American tradition of outdoor recreation.” 

A complete list of the 2018 grants made through the National Wildlife Refuge Friends Grant Program is available here.

There are approximately 185 refuge Friends organizations supporting more than 350 National Wildlife Refuges. Refuge Friends organizations assist with much of the outreach, education and conservation work across the refuge system.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and generated a conservation impact of more than $4.8 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.

About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.





Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166


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