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Federal grant to address American Samoa tsunami damage

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 4:48 a.m. HST, Jan 30, 2013

American Samoa is receiving a federal grant to restore a mangrove swamp and coral reefs damaged by tsunami in 2009.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant will help restore 18 acres of coastal wetland habitat in Leone Village, one of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami.

The agency said Tuesday the grant is worth nearly $270,000. Partners will provide more than $90,000 in matching funds.

The Leone wetlands are among the largest and most important mangrove swamps in American Samoa.

The restoration will benefit wildlife and make the ecosystem more resilient to future natural disasters and climate change.

The grant is among $20 million the agency is awarding this year to 24 critical coastal wetland projects in 13 states and territories.

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