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 $1,053,285 will be distributed to the state of Nebraska for outdoor recreation and conservation projects from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is funded through offshore oil and gas leasing. This was part of $94.3 million distributed across all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. 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 Miami, Florida, to Omaha, Nebraska, 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.”
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 create new parks in places that have none and to develop and expand trail systems that link communities and add 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.”