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January 11, 2012 | last updated January 11, 2012 11:15 am

$2 million to protect Maine wetland sites

More than $2 million in wetlands-conservation grants have been awarded to 17 sites around the state.

The Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program – which is administered by The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – recently announced awards totaling $2.4 million to help restore, enhance or preserve wetlands and other important habitats. This is the third round of awards from the program, and more than 2,300 acres of land will be conserved or restored statewide. Projects receiving funds include the protection of 2,000 acres in rural Penobscot County used by eagles and rare butterflies; the protection of 22 acres within the Boulter Pond watershed in York County; and the protection of 42 acres of forestland in Jay.

Public agencies, nonprofit conservation organizations and municipalities were eligible to apply for the competitive grants.

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