WASHINGTON, D.C.- Nearly $6 million in funds will be awarded to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County.
The $5,980,000 was awarded by the U.S. Department of the Interior through the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which is supported by revenue generated from the “Duck Stamp” program. The stamps are required for waterfowl hunters as an annual license, but are also voluntarily purchased by others who choose to help preserve wildlife habitats.
“The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is an integral part of Maryland’s First District and provides essential habitat for waterfowl on the Eastern Shore,” Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD01) said in a statement. “These funds will help preserve ecologically important wetlands and support our local waterfowl hunting economy and community.”
The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge project will conserve over 2,500 acres of priority habitat for migrating and wintering American black ducks, mallards, Canada geese and greater snow geese, as well as habitat for black rail, salt-marsh sparrow and other wetland-associated migratory birds, according to the Department of the Interior.
The project will also add over 2,600 acres to the refuge’s public program, expanding public hunting opportunities for white-tailed and sika deer, turkey and waterfowl.