CHARLESTON, W.Va.— U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), both members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $775,700 in grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) as part of the Chesapeake Watershed Investments for Landscape Defense (Chesapeake WILD) program for two West Virginia projects.

“Preserving the Chesapeake Bay and Upper Potomac watersheds, including the hundreds of species of animals and wildlife found there, is critical to the region’s ecosystem and ensuring healthy populations of species favored by our anglers and sportsmen, which is why I helped create this Chesapeake WILD program that was signed into law in 2020,” Ranking Member Capito said. “The grants announced today, along with matching funds, will enable two key projects in West Virginia to move forward that will strengthen our efforts to protect endangered species and improve habitats across West Virginia.”

“West Virginia is blessed with beautiful public lands and incredible wildlife. Like many of my fellow West Virginians, I enjoy hunting, fishing and exploring our great outdoors, and I’ve instilled that love and appreciation in my children and grandchildren,” Senator Manchin said. “I am pleased the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investing in restoring and preserving endangered wildlife populations in Monroe County and expanding wildlife habitats in West Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay watershed with the inaugural round of awards from the bipartisan Chesapeake WILD program, which I cosponsored and was signed into law in 2020. As Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue advocating for funding to ensure West Virginia’s beautiful public lands are protected for generations to come.”

Individual awards listed below:

  • $499,800 – The West Virginia Land Trust
    • These funds will help preserve and restore one of two remaining populations of the endangered James spinymussel along the South Fork of Potts Creek. The project will permanently protect a 40 acre tract, implement conservation practices, support a variety of wildlife, and restore sections of Potts Creek that are critical to the resident James spinymussel population.
  • $275,900 – Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust
    • This grant will help expand wildlife habitat hubs and corridors in West Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay watershed through permanent land protection and engagement of hunt clubs. The project will protect 1,000 acres of critical habitat for Eastern brook trout, freshwater mussels, several federally endangered species, and 60 other species of greatest conservation need.

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