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U.S. Interior Gives Virgin Islands $75,000 to Support State Parks, Outdoor Recreation

WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced a $75,000 distribution from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to the Virgin Islands for state-identified outdoor recreation and conservation projects.

This is part of a $100 million distribution from the LWCF to all 50 states, the territories and the District of Columbia. 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 LWCF State and Local Assistance Program leverages public and private investment in America’s State and local parks and exemplifies my priorities to improve and expand outdoor recreation and access, and bolster state and local community recreation, tourism and economic goals,” Zinke said. “I support permanent reauthorization of LWCF and am hopeful that Congress will pass this important bill before the deadline.”

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.

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Fiscal Year 2018 LWCF Apportionments by State:
State — Total
Alabama — $1,575,379
Alaska — $907,707
Arizona — $2,074,129
Arkansas — $1,257,021
California — $8,527,497
Colorado — $1,777,444
Connecticut — $1,497,856
Delaware — $958,608
Florida — $4,608,137
Georgia — $2,570,741
Hawaii — $1,062,199
Idaho — $1,065,085
Illinois — $3,353,349
Indiana — $1,959,895
Iowa — $1,306,393
Kansas — $1,307,516
Kentucky — $1,499,138
Louisiana — $1,610,231
Maine — $972,249
Maryland — $1,931,542
Massachusetts — $2,122,220
Michigan — $2,601,068
Minnesota — $1,751,154
Mississippi — $1,241,508
Missouri — $1,855,995
Montana — $944,398
Nebraska — $1,116,936
Nevada — $1,343,209
New Hampshire — $1,004,160
New Jersey — $2,608,866
New Mexico — $1,169,763
New York — $4,650,277
North Carolina — $2,441,739
North Dakota — $896,313
Ohio — $2,950,544
Oklahoma — $1,437,051
Oregon — $1,517,718
Pennsylvania — $3,180,438
Rhode Island — $997,854
South Carolina — $1,589,578
South Dakota — $916,774
Tennessee — $1,889,644
Texas — $5,706,801
Utah — $1,344,543
Vermont — $873,017
Virginia — $2,263,381
Washington — $2,095,549
West Virginia — $1,068,456
Wisconsin — $1,800,071
Wyoming — $881,398
District of Columbia — $229,413
Puerto Rico — $1,388,048
Virgin Islands — $75,000
Guam — $75,000
American Samoa — $75,000
Northern Marianas — $75,000

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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