The Nevada Division of Natural Heritage has received a grant from the U.S. EPA to advance its wetland conservation and restoration plans.
Nevada Division of Natural Heritage (NDNH) is set to advance its Wetland Program Plan (WPP) with a $516,771 grant from the U.S. EPA, according to the Nevada Department of Conservation Resources (NDCNR) website.
“Unfortunately, in addition to being the driest state in the nation, it is estimated that Nevada has lost approximately 52% of its historic wetland acreage over the years,” reported NDCNR.
Over the next two year, NDNH will use the grant to conduct field studies focused on Nevada’s wetlands, as well as wetland-dependant plants and wildlife species. These efforts are part of the Nevada Wetland Program Plan, which focuses on three core program elements: monitoring and assessment, restoration and protection, and sustainable financing.
The current wetlands in existence are threatened by factors, such as water diversion and development. The aim of the program is to advance water conservation efforts and nurture wetlands that are resilient to climate change.
More than 300 native animal species and over 50 native plant species are dependent upon Nevada’s wetland habitats for all or a portion of their lifecycle, according to NDCNR. The estimated two-thirds of Nevada species considered threatened or endangered live exclusively in wetlands, while dozens more wetland-dependent species are considered sensitive or rare.
NNHP staff sent a WPP stakeholder survey to 77 individuals known to have experience and knowledge of wetland resources in Nevada. Over half of the respondents indicated a lack of adequate funding to pursue wetland projects, according to the program plan.
In order to achieve its wetland conservation and restoration goals, NDNH is working with numerous partners, such as the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Springs Stewardship Institute, the Desert Research Institute and the Nature Conservancy, according to Elk Grove Daily.
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