In August, TILT was awarded $211,800 of grant funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for habitat protection in the St. Lawrence River/Great Lakes watershed. TILT submitted an application for the funding in February. The grant was provided as part of the GLRI Joint Venture Habitat Restoration and Protection Program, which supports long-term habitat protection, restoration, or enhancement projects for conservation of native Great Lakes fish and wildlife populations, particularly migratory birds.
TILT’s application helps meet the habitat goals of the Lower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Plain Bird Conservation Region (BCR-13) Plan and the New York State Wildlife Action Plan by permanently protecting over 230 acres of forests, wetlands and riparian habitat in the St. Lawrence River Valley and Thousand Islands. The conservation work will be in the form of a fee-simple acquisition of a 160 acre tract on the Indian River in the Town of Rossie, NY as well as the execution of two limited development conservation easements on the remaining unprotected lands of Picton Island. Both properties feature unique habitat types that service a number of BCR-13 priority bird species, such as the Long-tailed Duck, Common Goldeneye, American Black Duck, Wood Thrush, Golden-wing Warbler, and the Cerulean Warbler. By protecting these lands and waters, TILT is forever ensuring the integrity of the vital habitats, scenic quality, clean air and clean water of the St. Lawrence River Valley.
The funding will cover the acquisition costs, appraisals, property surveys, legal fees, and other costs incurred by these transactions. TILT will provide $131,000 in match value toward the grant.