Two projects of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will receive nearly $540,000 of federal funding as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s annual Competitive State Wildlife Grant program.

One grant will allow IFW, along with partners New Hampshire and Massachusetts, to work on filling knowledge gaps on the basic ecology, distribution and abundance of 27 species of greatest conservation need along the coastal marine ecosystem.

IFW and its partners will identify areas of exceptional species diversity. Researchers will then develop habitat models and maps that can help predict other areas with similar habitat features.

Due to wind potential, Maine’s coast has drawn the interest of offshore energy developers, meaning this data can help minimize the effects of turbines.

The second SWG-funded project will enable IFW to update the Maine Wildlife Action Plan.