On December 15, the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program (MNRCP) provided funding to 11 wetlands and natural resource projects across the state using fees paid by developers for environmental impacts. More than $6M was awarded to the projects that restore, enhance, or protect wetlands and other natural resources. Projects supported include removal of a road through a salt marsh, salt marsh enhancement projects, removal of a dam to restore a tidal marsh, and conservation of freshwater wetlands.
MNRCP is part of the state’s In Lieu Fee Compensation Program, through which developers who are seeking permits for environmental impacts can pay a fee to compensate for unavoidable impacts from the proposed projects. The fees are assessed by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the permitting process and are pooled in a dedicated fund administered by The Nature Conservancy in coordination with the DEP and Corps. Since its 2008 inception, the program has awarded more than $33M for 174 restoration and conservation projects.
Representatives from organizations receiving MNRCP grant funds this month noted that by restoring and conserving the wetlands they will be able to increase floodwater capacity, improve climate resilience by providing space to accommodate future marsh migration, and provide wading bird and waterfowl habitat.
For more information about MNRCP, visit http://mnrcp.org/.