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$5M In Grants Awarded To San Diego County Conservation Programs

Photo caption: A California gnatcatcher.

Photo by David Hofmann

Photo credit: Flickr

A California gnatcatcher.

Four conservation programs in San Diego County were awarded more than $5 million combined Thursday by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The awards are part of $37.2 million in grants to 20 states, with almost $16 million in California.

The local grants include:

• $2 million to the city of Carlsbad's Habitat Management Plan to purchase up to 133 acres of habitat areas for the coastal California gnatcatcher, least Bell's vireo, California least tern, western snowy plover, and numerous plant species

• $2 million to the county of San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program to buy up to 200 acres that support riparian and upland habitats, and seasonal wetlands known as vernal pools that support numerous species like the San Diego fairy shrimp, arroyo toad, least Bell's vireo, coastal California gnatcatcher, southwestern willow flycatcher and bald eagle

• $1 million to the county of San Diego to acquire lands that will help with the recovery of species that live in vernal pools

• nearly $189,000 to fund planning for the city of Santee Multiple Species Conservation Program

"By cultivating partnerships between federal, state and local governments, private organizations and individuals, we can establish creative and effective solutions to some of the greatest conservation challenges of our time," said Dan Ashe, the USFW director. "These grants are one of many tools available under the Endangered Species Act, and we look forward to providing continued guidance and support for these programs."

The grants are funded in part by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands.

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