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East County News Service

Photo:  Vernal pool fairy shrimp, Calif. Dept. of Pesticide Regulation

August 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - What do bald eagles and fairy shrimp have in common?  They’re both on a list of species to be protected under a $3 million grant that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is providing to San Diego County for habitat preservation. In addition, the City of Santee will receive close to $189,000 for its Multiple Species Conservation Program.

The funds include $2 million to purchase up to 200 acres of riparian and upland habitat as well as vernal pools—seasonal wetlands that are home to species such as the San Diego fairy shrimp, California gnatcatcher, arroyo toad, least Bell’s vireo, southwestern willow flycatcher and bald eagle.

Another $1 million is slated to buy land specifically to help species that thrive in vernal pools.

Over $37 million was provided to 20 states, including $16 million in California.

Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, says partnering with state and local governments helps solve “some of the greatest conservation challenges of our time.” The funds are available through the Endangered Species Act, funded in part by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

For details, you can visit www.FWS.gov.

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