Wetland restoration project gets $2.25M in Recovery Act funding

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• Overhead power line will be moved underground as part of the effort to restore 400 acres of tidal wetlands at the coastal refuge

WASHINGTON, DC, April 6, 2010 -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Department of the Interior has awarded a $2.25 million contract under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to switch an overhead power transmission line to an underground cable system at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.

The stimulus funding will be used by Doyon Project Services of Federal Way, WA, to relocate the existing 3,400-foot 25kV power line in order to further the restoration of 400 acres of tidal wetlands on the southwestern Oregon coast. The new 25kV transmission line will be buried approximately four feet deep across the floodplain using trenching techniques and will be bored under the Coquille River.

"This is a local project that is very near and dear to the people who live there, and the environmental benefit is something we are excited about," Doyon proposal manager Elisa Howard said. "We are thrilled to work for the residents of the area and feel it is important to hire local help when we can. We will be hiring local companies as drilling and electrical subcontractors."

"The existing overhead transmission lines represent a significant collision hazard with the birds at the refuge, and it would pose a much greater hazard once the area is restored to tidal wetlands," Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Project Leader Roy W. Lowe said. "The project is also important to the Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative as it will protect and insure the long-term integrity of the transmission line through the highly dynamic wetlands."

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in 2009 provided $3 billion to the Department of the Interior.

The ARRA funds are part of a stimulus package that is an important component of the President's plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the country can thrive in the 21st century. Under the ARRA, Interior is making an investment in conserving America's timeless treasures - our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage - while helping American families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service.

"The funds used to complete this project represent a continuing commitment by the Department of the Interior and Fish and Wildlife Service to both protect wetlands and create jobs in the region," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery.

Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force to work closely with Interior's Inspector General to ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency set by President Obama.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For questions, comments or concerns email us at recoveryact@fws.gov. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

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