The company that owns and operates the pipeline crossing the St. Croix River’s headwaters is a new funder of grants for conservation organizations. Enbridge has contributed $100,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s “Friends” program.
The grants are available to groups who partner with National Wildlife Refuges in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas, and Oklahoma (states where Enbridge’s pipelines are focused). They can apply for grants of $1,500 to $10,000 to pursue on-the-ground projects, like habitat improvement or restoration, or to help new groups get started. The funds may not be used for political advocacy, lobbying, fundraising, or to close gaps in federal funding to refuges.
“Overarching goals of the program are to help refuge Friends organizations build their expertise in developing and executing projects, expand and increase their capacity and skills, meet local refuge challenges, gain and build community recognition and support for the refuge and refuge Friends organizations, build long-term relationships, and encourage the sharing of expertise within our own networks,” according to the request for proposals.
The St. Croix River region is home to one major National Wildlife Refuge complex, the St. Croix Wetland Management District near New Richmond, Wisconsin, primarily in the Apple and Willow River watersheds. It provides habitat for nesting waterfowl, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service works with partners to “restore and protect prairie, wetlands and oak savanna. This work includes habitat restoration and the promotion of programs to improve water quality in the St. Croix River Watershed.” The refuge’s official partner group is the Friends of the St. Croix Wetland Management District.
More information and application materials are available here.