2/25/2009 — 

WASHINGTON, DC -- In an effort to protect and conserve Rhode Island's fish and wildlife populations and preserve open spaces, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today announced that Rhode Island will receive $4,044,499 through the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program and $2,004,425 through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program.

"This critical funding will help sustain Rhode Island's fish and wildlife populations and enhance the state's ability to ensure that outdoor recreational opportunities remain available," said Reed, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies, which oversees spending on these federal grant programs. "This funding will help bolster the local economy and protect Rhode Island's natural resources for future generations to enjoy."

"Rhode Island continues to benefit from active engagement of Senator Reed and our Federal delegation seeing that these funds come to Rhode Island," said Department of Environmental Management Director W. Michael Sullivan, PhD. "It is particularly important in these challenging fiscal times to have these resources available for our continued efforts at preserving and enhancing our fish, wildlife and land protection programs."

"As an avid fisherman, I am sure I speak for all those who enjoy the outdoors when I say we truly appreciate the continued commitment by Senator Reed in helping to protect our natural resources," said Governor Carcieri. "This grant will ensure continued improvement in the quality and health of our fish and wildlife populations."

Sport Fish Restoration funds are used by fish and wildlife agencies to pay for stocking fish; acquiring and improving sport fish habitat; providing aquatic resource education opportunities; conducting fisheries research; maintaining public access, and the construction at boat ramps, fishing piers, and other facilities for recreational boating access. Since the inception of the program, 360,000 acres have been acquired; more than 1.5 million acres have been operated and maintained annually; over 6.8 billion fish have been stocked; more than 1.7 billion fish have been restored; 6,400-boat access sites have been renovated and improved; and over 11.9 million people have participated in the aquatic resource education program.

Wildlife Restoration Act funds are used by fish and wildlife agencies to manage wildlife populations, conduct habitat research, acquire wildlife lands and public access, carry out surveys and inventories, administer hunter education, and construct and maintain shooting ranges. Since the program began, 68 million acres have been acquired; more than 35 million acres of habitat have been improved; and over 44,000 acres of waterfowl impoundments have been developed.