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Federal Habitat Restoration Programs Create Thousands of Jobs and Generate Millions in Economic Stimulus

Apr 25, 2014 09:04 AM EDT
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According to the US Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS), its own habitat restoration programs act as an economic engine, creating more than 3,900 jobs in the 2011 fiscal year and generating $327.6 million in economic stimulus.

The announcement comes from the results of a report examining the economic impact of the agency's Partners for Fish and Wildlife and Coastal programs.

The FWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife program is a collaboration between the agency and private land owners to improve wildlife habitat. The land owners make an agreement to maintain the restoration projects for 10 years, but otherwise maintain complete control over their land.

The Coastal program works to protect and restore vital wildlife habitat by removing invasive species, replanting salt marsh and sea grasses and installing living shorelines to prevent erosion.

Dan Ashe, director of the FWS, said the programs act as an important driver for creating employment in the US.

"The benefits reach far beyond the local communities where these projects take place to provide national economic stimulus," Ashe said in a statement. "At the same time, this restoration work provides benefits to all Americans by creating healthy natural areas, including shorelines, streams, wetlands and forests on privately owned lands."

The FWS said the report (available here) is the most comprehensive look to date at the economic impact of FWS spending on habitat restoration.

Numerous "green jobs" have been created in several industries as a result of the two FWS programs, the agency said, highlighting work created for heavy equipment providers and operators, plant nurseries, landscape architects, construction companies and others.

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