July 01, 2010

CARDIN, MIKULSKI PRAISE $6 MILLION IN FUNDING TO MODERNIZE PATUXENT RESEARCH REFUGE

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today applauded the award of $6 million in recovery funds by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for construction projects that will significantly modernize facilities at the Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel .   

 "Patuxent is both a National Wildlife Refuge and home of our nation's premier wildlife research facility, but it is in need of upgrading and modernization," said Senator Cardin, chairman of the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee of the Environment and Public Works Committee.   "Our nation is a world leader in habitat preservation and wildlife protection and Patuxent is at the forefront of that effort. Improvements to Patuxent will provide jobs for Marylanders and ensure that Patuxent remains at the forefront of efforts to carry out that important mission."

 

"Updating research facilities at the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge will not only help conserve and protect Maryland 's wildlife and their habitat, but also Maryland 's economy,"  Senator Mikulski said. "This project means jobs, jobs, jobs for Maryland - jobs in construction today and jobs in wildlife sciences tomorrow. It is a perfect example of Recovery Act funding put to work for local communities, honoring the importance of preserving our state's wildlife while moving us toward economic recovery."

At Patuxent, the FWS plans to demolish the outdated and unsafe Stickel Lab; design and engineer an energy-efficient building for the agency's national migratory bird management program; design and engineer the rehabilitation of several historic structures; construct two energy-efficient residences; assess and mitigate for historic and cultural resources that may be affected by construction; and replace a number of gates on the property.   Extensive work is expected to provide jobs and a significant economic boost to the local economy.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a sister agency under the Interior Department, operates the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center on the site.   USGS and FWS are working together to complete a multi-year series of projects to improve Patuxent.

The USGS also has received $8.5 million in complementary funding under the recovery act for other projects, including designing and engineering a state-of-the-art wildlife science laboratory and animal research facilities, constructing a few buildings associated with whooping crane recovery, and building a residence for research staff on the site.