Permanent easement for migratory birds funded

A Western Sandpiper runs along the water's edge looking for food at Hartney Bay on Friday, May 4, 2018. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

A $100,000 grant to The Conservation Fund will secure 309 acres of migratory bird habitat along the Kasilof River on the western Kenai Peninsula for migratory, breeding and overwintering habitat for over 160 bird species.

The grant, announced in early December by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, ConocoPhillips and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, is one of nine ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Program grants totaling $1.3 million for 2020. The grants generated over $3 million in matching contributions, for a total conservation impact of over $4.3 million.

The Conservation Fund, a major national environmental nonprofit, is matching the grant with an additional $392,511 for a project total of $492,511.

The SPIRIT of Conservation program seeks to award grants to restore bird habitat, gather bird data, and improve bird focused conservation practices. Since 2005, ConocoPhillips, NFWF and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have invested over $13.9 million In the program.