In 1996, the General Assembly created the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund to deal with water pollution. The fund was the brainchild of State Senator Marc Basnight. The fund provides grants to groups for such projects as the restoration of degraded lands and building of riparian buffers. Not only has the fund protected water resources, it has facilitated significant increases in state game lands and other areas designated for outdoor recreation. One of the largest fund recipients has been the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, which has received almost $77 million for forty-nine projects statewide. The fund is helping the state reach its goal of preserving one million acres of additional open space (the One Million Acre Initiative) by the year 2009.