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Project will benefit fishermen, lobstermen, boaters, and visitors

(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen announced today that her request for funding to boost conservation efforts at Great Bay has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Shaheen and Senator Gregg worked together to secure the $3 million in funding, which will help the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership continue their work to bring the Great Bay estuary back to its original splendor, and it will support Great Bay's multiple users including fishermen, oyster harvesters, lobstermen and all recreational users. The funding for the project is included Fiscal Year 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which now goes to the Senate floor for final passage.

"Great Bay is a natural treasure that benefits the community, nature enthusiasts and the local fishing industry as well, and we need to make sure it stays that way," said Shaheen. "Conservation efforts like the ongoing project at Great Bay show us that we can protect our natural places and preserve their use for commerce at the same time."

"As one of the largest inland estuaries along the Atlantic coast, Great Bay has long been considered by scientists, commercial fisherman, and naturalists as one of our nation's most important marine environments," said Daryl Burtnett, state director for The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire. "The Partnership couldn't be more proud of its successes, and are grateful to Senator Jeanne Shaheen for her support in recognizing the importance of Great Bay to our coastal communities. Important next steps in our efforts include restoring oyster populations to help enhance water quality even as we continue to protect additional acres of important wildlife habitat. These are the milestones that set our path forward bringing back what's 'Great' about Great Bay."

The funding will help protect an additional 175 acres of critical shoreline habitat in the Great Bay estuary. Over the last ten years, the Great Bay Protection Partnership has protected over 5,000 acres of land in the Great Bay estuary, becoming the largest conservation effort in the Seacoast. The funding was approved today by the Appropriations Committee as part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Commerce Appropriations legislation, which includes $7,550,00 for projects in New Hampshire.