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Alaska News

State to acquire wetlands habitat along Kasilof River with federal grant

KENAI — Alaska will acquire about a half square mile of habitat along the Kasilof River through a federal grant.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved a grant of about $340,000 for the project through its National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant program, the Peninsula Clarion reported Tuesday.

The total cost of the project is estimated at around $500,000.

The fish and wildlife service program aims to “protect, restore and enhance coastal wetland ecosystems and associated uplands” across the country.

The project will protect about .44 square miles of coastal wetland habitat in the Kasilof River Flats, including 2.25 miles of river shoreline.

About 85% of the project’s scope is composed of “nationally declining” coastal wetland types, the Clarion reported.

Wildlife that may benefit from the project include rock sandpipers, chinook, sockeye, pink salmon and Cook Inlet beluga whales, the Clarion reported.

The project is also expected to provide habitat for 165 bird species, 37 of which are identified in the Alaska Wildlife Action Plan as those in greatest need.