- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

RIDGELAND, S.C. (AP) - About 450 acres of forested wetlands near the South Carolina coast are being preserved with the help of a federal grant.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a statement that the $850,000 in federal money is part of more than $21 million being provided for 25 projects in 13 states.

The South Carolina project involves protecting the Baxter Tract, just over 450-acres of wetlands along a mile of shoreline on the Black Swamp in coastal Jasper County.

With the help of a non-federal $285,000 match, the state Department of Natural Resources will acquire the area which is home to species including wood storks and sturgeon.

The state agency will operate the site as a Wildlife Management Area providing recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, bird watching and hiking.

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