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Grant to help Great Dismal Swamp restoration in Va.

Wednesday - 11/28/2012, 3:22am  ET

SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Nature Conservancy is receiving a $25,000 grant to help restore the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Suffolk.

Officials say the grant from the Norfolk Southern Foundation will help the organization and its partners install water control systems at the 112,000-acre refuge straddles the border of Virginia and North Carolina.

The funding also will be used to identify ways to manage water flow in order to reduce the threat of intense peat fires like the ones that threatened the region in 2011 and 2008. Costs related to those fires totaled more than $20 million and burned more than 6,500 acres of forest and swamp.

Officials say the project will complement the pending installation of several other water control systems in the refuge and in Dismal Swamp State Park to the south.

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