TWS supports funding for wetland conservation grants

By Emily Ronis

TWS has signed onto a letter supporting continued funding for the North American Wetland Conservation Act. The act helps conserve wetland habitat for birds and wildlife, such as the tri-colored heron (Egretta tricolor). ©USFWS

The Wildlife Society has signed onto a letter alongside hunting, angling and other conservation organizations in support of funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).

This letter, addressed to leading members of the Senate and House appropriations committees, asks for members of Congress to recognize the importance of robust funding for the program in fiscal year 2019. The president’s budget, currently under congressional review, has requested $34 million to fund the act.

Last year, TWS signed onto a similar letter that called for legislators to support robust FY2018 funding levels. On Friday, Congress passed the FY2018 spending bill, which allocates $40 million to NAWCA for the remainder of this fiscal year. Prior to the passage of this spending bill, NAWCA was funded at the FY2017 level of $38 million.

NAWCA was established in 1989 to provide grants to projects in the United States, Canada and Mexico that protect, restore and enhance waterfowl habitat as mandated by the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The competitive grants require one-to-one matching from non-federal partners, although partners often match above the minimum level. On average, partners triple each federal dollar allocated.

Since 1989, NAWCA grants totaling $1.48 billion have generated $4.34 billion from partner contributions to fund habitat projects.

Since its implementation, NAWCA has funded 2,644 projects and 5,600 conservation partnerships that have impacted more than 33.4 million acres of habitat.

Emily Ronis is a Policy Communication Intern at The Wildlife Society. Read more of Emily's articles.