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Outdoor Classroom or Schoolyard Habitat

The mission of the Schoolyard Habitat and Outdoor Classroom Program is to get students from across the country outside to experience nature. To accomplish this mission, the Program helps schools create natural spaces on school grounds where students will observe, draw, write, think and question. A Schoolyard Habitat project restores native wildlife habitat, while an outdoor classroom area includes seating, tables and shade structures. Whether referred to as a Schoolyard Habitat or an outdoor classroom, all projects will benefit both wildlife and people.

More information can be found here


Chose this initiative if the project provides benefits to pollinator species. If the pollinators initiative is selected, a further option becomes available to indicate if this project benefits monarchs in particular. The Fish and Wildlife Service leads many efforts to stabilize and improve pollinator status

More information can be found here

Climate Change

Any project that satisfies the service's commitment to slow and manage the effects of climate change.

There are two primary ways the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responding to climate change: adaptation and mitigation. The Service is focused on helping fish, plants, and wildlife adjust to the impacts of climate change, as well as moderating the effects of a changing climate using cutting-edge science in conservation, land and species management, and habitat restoration.

More information can be found here

Strategic Habitat Conservation

The Fish and Wildlife Service outlined a strategic habitat conservation report in 2006 that consists of the following elements:

  1. Identify population and management objectives for species that we care about, starting at ecologically meaningful scales;
  2. Address as a unified FWS and with partners as possible the most significant conservation challenges;
  3. Pool resources and talent and align and target work to ensure efficient and effective conservation delivery;
  4. Measure and evaluate progress, including both successes and failures, to continually improve our strategies and actions.  Strategic Habitat Conservation is the conservation and business framework we adopted to consistently and transparently achieve these goals.

The full report can be read here

Gulf Coast Restoration Initiative The Corps Network partnered with the Walton Family Foundation in 2013 to launch the Gulf Coast Restoration Initiative to build Conservation Corps capacity in the five states bordering the Gulf of Mexico (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas). Conservation Corps offer a way to both restore valuable coastal habitats and train young adults in marketable job skills for the growing restoration economy. Several new Corps have launched since the start of this initiative, and Corps are increasingly seen by state and local officials as a solution to the Gulf’s environmental and economic concerns.
Working Lands for WildlifeIsland ConservationDefinition: Select the check box, Through the Farm Bill, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to participants who voluntarily make improvements to their working lands while the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) provides participants with regulatory predictability for the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This innovative approach empowers landowners with a means to make on-the-ground improvements and provides peace of mind that no matter the legal status of a species, they can keep their working lands working.
Island Conservation

Chose this initiative if the project is located on an island or directly benefits an island (e.g., wave break for a barrier island), and provide a brief description of how the project benefits the island ecosystem. Recognizing the importance of island ecosystems, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with Island Conservation and other partners adopted the Island Restoration Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote conservation on islands. Although this MOU specifically focuses on invasive species, the Service is documenting all our conservation activities on islands.

Use: This information will support interagency information requests, as well as outreach materials.

Ocean/MarineDefinition: Check Chose this box initiative if the project is done in a marine or tidal environment (NOTE: waters of the Great Lakes are considered marine), and/or if the primary project purpose is to benefit a marine ecosystem or species.  Provide a brief description of how the project benefits the marine ecosystem/species. Consider describing how the project may have social or cultural benefits as well (e.g., improved fishing). Some project examples include; oyster reefs, coral reefs, sea grass beds, and mangroves.  Other projects could include those done within a Coral Reef Task Force watershed, marine debris removal, or projects done specifically for a marine species (e.g. fish passage projects for salmon).  

Use: This information will support interagency reporting requirements on marine debris, ocean acidification, marine mammals, and US Coral Reef Task Force working groups, as well as to outreach materials.

Great Lakes Restoration InitiativeSince 2010 the multi-agency GLRI has provided funding to 16 federal organizations to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem and to accelerate progress toward achieving long term goals. Any project that uses funds under FWS sub-activity "Great Lakes Restoration Initiative - 1913" should be marked as a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative 

FWS Involvement

Domain Values

1. Worked with partner to determine roles in the project as documented in the agreement
2. Worked with partner to develop the agreement budget for the project
3. Worked with partner to carry out the scope of work
4. Worked with partner in training personnel to complete conservation practices
5. Reviewed and approved completed stage of work before the next stage began
6. Reviewed and approved proposed modifications or sub-awards
7. Helped select project staff and/or trainees
8. Directed or redirected the project work based on related projects
9. Halted an activity because detailed performance specifications were not being met
10. Served in the project manager role to limit partner actions in scope of work, structure, staffing, operations, and/or management, through close monitoring and involvement during the project


UplandLand or an area of land lying above the level where water flows or where flooding occurs. Upland habitat types must have a polygon geometry type
WetlandLands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water. For purposes of this classification, wetlands must have one or more of the following three attributes: (1) at least periodically the land supports predominantly hydrophytes; (2) the substrate is predominantly undrained hydric soils; and (3) the substrate is non-soil and is saturated with water or covered by shallow water at some time during the growing season of each year (Cowardin et al. 1979). By definition wetlands include areas meeting specific criteria included in the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual, as well as in the USDA-NRCS’s National Food Security Act Manual (FWS FY 2003 Annual Performance Plan, (Structures)RiverShoreline. Wetland habitat types must have a polygon geometry type
Other (Structures)Any treatment that involves construction of a structure. Includes fencing, fish passage structures, grazing management structures, hazard removal, infrastructure removal, and more. Other (Structures) habitat types must have a point geometry type
RiverAny accomplishment that involves treatments along the length of a river. River habitat types must have a polyline geometry type
ShorelineAny accomplishment that involves treatments along the length of a shoreline. River habitat types must have a polyline geometry type
Stream ChannelThe area between the two stream banks at bankfull elevation (hydrologic floodplain). Stream channel accomplishments should be measured and reported by the linear distance along the channel covered by the project.