LA CROSSE (WKOW)-- More than $21 million federal dollars are coming to Wisconsin to invest in the environment.
Governor Jim Doyle today announced $21.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding that will improve and protect important Wisconsin environmental resources, and create jobs.
Wisconsin is receiving $13,946,000 to make improvements at four U.S. Geological Survey centers, the most of any state for these types of projects. Wisconsin is also receiving $7,439,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to build visitors centers, improve infrastructure, and bolster conservation at its national wildlife refuges and hatcheries.
"We have a history in Wisconsin of valuing public land and making our outdoors available to everyone," Governor Doyle said. "Through this federal funding we will put people in Wisconsin to work, while creating a lasting legacy for our children and grandchildren."
Governor Doyle made the announcement at the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center in La Crosse, which will use the funding to improve and update its labs, building and equipment. The funding will allow the center to increase its research capabilities - helping better control invasive species, improve management of fisheries, and increase our understanding of river ecosystems. The project is expected to create 60 jobs for hardworking Wisconsin families.
Other U.S. Geological Survey centers in Wisconsin that are expected to receive funding are the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, the Wisconsin Water Science Center in Middleton, and the Great Lakes Science Center in Ashland.
Of the $7.4 million Wisconsin is receiving from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, $6.1 million is going to the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in La Crosse. The funding will be used to construct a new office at the refuge, allowing staff to provide better services to visitors. The project is expected to create 50 jobs.
Part of the funding will also be used to hire youth ages 15 to 18 to work with the Youth Conservation Corps. This important program provides youth the opportunity to work, earn, and learn by taking part in projects that further the development and conservation of our nation's natural resources.
Other projects receiving funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service include:
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge La Crosse District - $6,100,000
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge - $500,000
Great Lakes Northern Coastal Program - $454,000
Wisconsin Partners for Fish and Wildlife - $215,000
Ashland National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office - $106,000
La Crosse National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office - $40,000
National Fish Habitat Action Plan Coordinator - $24,000
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