Flagship grants to boost coastal fish habitats

Grant applications are open for the second round of the large-scale Flagship Fish Habitat Grants program, which offers applicants up to $400,000 over two years.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries Manager, Scott Nichols, said the funding initiative will benefit fish stocks by increasing the extent and quality of coastal fish habitats.

“These grants offer a rare opportunity to improve fish habitat and catchment health on a large scale in your local creek, river or estuary," Mr Nichols said.

“This is the second round of the Flagship Grant program. Projects we hope to see are those addressing wetland and riparian vegetation loss, riverbed and bank erosion, fish passage and poor water quality from the disturbance of acid sulfate soils.”

Mr Nichols said the Flagship Grants program builds on the existing Habitat Action Grants program and seeks to target much larger scale projects that require higher levels of funding assistance.

“Funding can support the planning and site preparation necessary to fix important fish habitats,” Mr Nichols said.

"Thanks to this grant program, applicants will be able to rehabilitate sites which have previously been hard to tackle due to a combination of either funding requirements and/or the associated environmental assessments and investigations needed.

“A maximum of $400,000 available per project, and these projects can run for up to two years.

“The first round of the Flagship Fish Habitat Grants invested $800,000 toward three flagship projects that are working to improve our coastal wetlands and waterways.

"Funded by the Recreational Fishing Trust, this program is another excellent example of how recreational fishing fees are helping to support and improve fisheries in NSW.”

Since 2009, the Recreational Fishing Trust has invested over $5 million into the existing Habitat Action Grants program, which has attracted significant additional investment of nearly $13.5 million in-kind and cash contributions delivering improved fish populations in NSW through on-ground improvements in fish habitat.

Applications for 2019 Flagship Grants close at 5pm, 12 April 2019.

For more information about the program, go to: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/habitat/rehabilitating/ahr-grants-program/flagship-fish-eoi or contact Department of Primary Industries Fisheries Manager, Scott Nichols, on (02) 6626 1396.

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