Federal grants invest in state and local parks using earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced that $94.3 million will be distributed for outdoor recreation and conservation projects to the 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is funded through offshore oil and gas leasing. These funds are awarded through federal matching grants that leverage public and private investment in America’s state and local public parks.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund state grant program has been a resounding success that makes physical investments in our communities,” Secretary Zinke said. “From Detroit, Michigan, to Lake Tahoe, California, the program benefits citizens across the nation by helping state and local governments make infrastructure investments in urban, suburban, and rural parks. By advancing the Administration’s offshore energy goals, we will be able to generate more revenue for the fund to improve conservation and recreation opportunities for generations to come.”
“I have long supported the Land and Water Conservation Fund and I’m very pleased to see Secretary Zinke’s announcement today, including $2.3 million for North Carolina parks and outdoor recreation,” said Senator Richard Burr. “The LWCF, which is funded through oil and gas royalties from federal lands at no cost to the taxpayer, has a proven track record of conserving our parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitats for the benefit of future generations. I’m pleased to see Secretary Zinke’s commitment to the program, and I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to permanently reauthorize it going forward.”
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund has played a large role in protecting Tennessee’s outdoors for over 50 years – providing more than $200 million to conservation and outdoor recreation efforts in our state,” said Senator Lamar Alexander. “Today’s announcement that Tennessee will receive more than $1.7 million from LWCF is good news as it will help continue to preserve our state’s beautiful land, water resources, and recreation areas so future generations have the same opportunities to enjoy them as we have.”
The LWCF was established by Congress in 1965 to ensure access to outdoor recreation resources for present and future generations. The funds enable state and local governments to improve existing parks and other recreation areas in their communities through rehabilitation and upgrade projects. These funds are also used to develop and expand parks, trail systems, and recreation opportunities.
“As leading providers of parks and natural areas for outdoor recreation, counties welcome the Department of the Interior’s investments in local communities through the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. “These matching grants help counties maintain open spaces that contribute to vibrant communities across the country.”
“Having access to a local park is part of what makes a city a great place to live, work and play,” said Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities (NLC). “The Land and Water Conservation Fund plays an invaluable role in helping cities create and improve parks, open space and outdoor recreation opportunities. The fund also protects our wetlands, refuges and wildlife habitats and helps cities build stronger, healthier and more resilient communities.”
Since the inception of the LWCF, more than $4.1 billion has been made available to state and local governments to fund more than 42,000 projects throughout the nation.
The allocation for the State and Local Assistance grant (stateside) program is determined based on a formula set in the LWCF Act and the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. For more information, please visit www.nps.gov/lwcf.
Fiscal Year 2017 Total Apportionments by State
|District of Columbia||$216,316|
|Northern Mariana Islands||$75,044|