The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative targets the most significant environmental problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem by funding and implementing federal projects that address these problems. One goal is to improve habitat and wildlife protection and restoration. Using appropriations from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program anticipates funding wetland and associated upland habitat restoration and enhancement projects for conservation of native Great Lakes fish and wildlife populations, particularly migratory birds. Restoration projects will be completed on privately owned (non-federal/non-state) lands. Emphasis will be placed on, but not limited to, completing projects within the watersheds of Great Lakes Areas of Concern and in coastal zones.
The PFW Program is a voluntary, incentive-based program that provides direct technical assistance and financial assistance in the form of cooperative agreements to private landowners to restore and conserve fish and wildlife habitat for the benefit of federal trust resources. In the Great Lakes watershed, PFW biologists from eight states coordinate with project partners, stakeholders, and other Service programs to identify geographic focus areas and develop habitat conservation priorities within these focus areas. Geographic focus areas are where the PFW Program directs resources to conserve habitat for federal trust species. Project work plans are developed strategically, in coordination with partners, and with substantial involvement from Service field staff. Projects must advance our mission, promote biological diversity, and be based upon sound scientific biological principles. Program strategic plans inform the types of projects funded under this opportunity.
Applicants seeking funding under this program should review the program strategic plan and also contact the PFW state coordinator PRIOR TO submitting an application for funding. Substantial involvement on the part of the Service is anticipated for the successful completion of the activities to be funded. In particular, the Service will be responsible for the following: PFW biologists provide direct technical assistance to landowners to identify, design and implement voluntary habitat improvement projects, such as wetland restoration, or grassland establishment, on private lands.