U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that Ohio has been awarded $1,277,698 in new federal resources by the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to promote conservation and outdoor recreation. Of the funds, $1,236,596 comes from the regular Fiscal Year 2014 apportionment awarded to the states and $41,102 is a supplemental apportionment as a result of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA).
“These federal funds will help Ohio’s natural resources and create new outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Brown. “Strong funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund is critical to ensuring Ohio will continue to reap the economic and environmental benefits of conservation.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund uses revenue from offshore oil and gas drilling to fund conservation and recreation projects in every state. The LWCF is authorized to be funded at $900 million but its funding is often diverted towards other programs, leaving many important conservation projects unfunded. This year, however, as the LWCF celebrates its 50th year, President Obama has called for reauthorization and full funding of the program in 2015.
LWCF funds have supported conservation projects across Ohio including Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, and Wayne National Forest.