Wetlands and Wildlife Conservation

mooseFrom the southern Bayou to the Great Lakes drainage basin, America’s wetlands play a crucial role in ecosystems throughout the country. Many landowners whose holdings include wetlands struggle to ensure these areas are properly protected against development.

An initiative of the Resources First Foundation, the Private Landowner Network is home to a wealth of information about wildlife management and wetland reserve programs. Whether you are looking for grants or other funding opportunities, or you are trying to make proactive estate planning decisions that will protect your legacy as a wetlands conservationist, you’ve come to the right place.

Why Wetlands Protection Is Important

wetland frogWetlands are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the country. Home to thousands of waterfowl and other bird, fish, and reptile species, wetlands must be preserved to ensure the continued survival of countless vulnerable plants and animals.

Wetlands play an important role in our lives, too:

  • Wetlands improve water quality. By acting as a natural drainage and filtration system, wetlands collect and purify freshwater before it travels downstream, reducing the amount of further processing necessary for its use in municipal and agricultural applications.
  • Wetlands prevent flooding. Wetlands play a key role in minimizing the impact of natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. In fact, it is estimated the value of the storm protection services provided by wetlands in the United States is more than $23.2 billion each year.
  • Wetlands feed us. In fact, two thirds of all fish consumed worldwide live in a coastal wetland ecosystem at some point in their lives. In addition to being home to commercial and sport fisheries, wetlands also supply rice and rejuvenate the water table for nearby farming operations.

Conserving the Wetlands

Both state and federal governments offer reserve programs for endangered wetlands. The Department of the Interior runs grant programs to support public/private partnerships that fulfill the mandate of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

Funding is available in Mississippi’s Sandy Creek wildlife management area; other programs support Midwest wetlands restoration projects and southern wetlands reserve programs. Browse the comprehensive list of grants and conservation initiatives on our website today.

Conservation Easements

conservation easementEntering your land into a conservation easement offers several tax advantages. For lands that are not used for farming or aquaculture, the tax benefits of an easement can easily outweigh their revenue-generating potential. You’ll also have the benefit of knowing your wetlands are protected against development for generations to come.

Estate Planning

Wetland conservation and management is an ongoing project. To ensure your work continues well into the future, make donating your land to an easement part of your estate planning. There’s no better way to make a positive contribution to future generations and protect your loved ones from unanticipated financial consequences.

Help Support the Resources First Foundation

Making conservation tools and information accessible to private landowners is a key goal of the Resources First Foundation, a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit. In addition to the Private Landowner Network, we maintain state-specific websites for Houston and Mississippi wetland reserve programs, as well as other regions. You can support us by making a donation, becoming a member, or following us on Facebook and Twitter today.