State parks, outdoor recreation get $100 million distribution
WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced Wednesday, Sept. 19 a $100 million distribution from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to all 50 States, the Territories, and the District of Columbia for state-identified outdoor recreation and conservation projects.
LWCF funds are non-taxpayer dollars derived from Outer Continental Shelf lease revenues and are awarded through federal matching grants administered by the National Park Service.
The $100 million in LWCF funding was supplemented by the June distribution of $61.6 million in revenues to states from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act.
The LWCF was established by Congress in 1965 to ensure access to outdoor recreation resources for present and future generations. The LWCF invests earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing to permanently conserve outdoor recreation areas for public use and enjoyment. The funds enable state and local governments to improve park and other recreation areas in their communities by rehabilitating and upgrading existing parks, creating brand new parks in places that have none, and developing and expanding trail systems that link communities to each other and to additional outdoor recreation opportunities.
Since the inception of the LWCF, over $4.2 billion from responsible offshore oil and gas development has been made available to state and local governments to fund more than 43,000 conservation projects throughout the nation. The allocation for the State and Local Assistance Program is determined by a formula set in the LWCF Act. For more information, please visit www.nps.gov/lwcf.
California got the biggest distribution amount – $8,527,497. Of the Great Lakes states, New York led with $4,650,277, followed by Illinois, $3,353,349; Pennsylvania, $3,180,438; Ohio, $2,950,544; Michigan, $2,601,068; Wisconsin, $1,800,071; and Minnesota, $1,751,154.