WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 8, 2017 – On Friday, President Trump signed an omnibus appropriations bill funding the government through fiscal year 2017. Despite earlier budget numbers from the President, key conservation programs received adequate and in some cases increased funding for the year.
“We thank Congress and the President for recognizing the importance of conservation provisions benefitting sportsmen and women around the country in the omnibus spending package,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall. “Ensuring programs like the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) receive adequate funding is imperative to provide wildlife with the habitat they need and deserve. These investments aid in clean water practices that benefit not only wildlife, but people too.”
NAWCA conserves North America’s waterfowl, fish and other wildlife resources while also producing a variety of environmental and economic benefits that sportsmen and women depend on nationwide. Its success is driven by partnerships involving federal, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations like DU and community groups. Every federal dollar provided by NAWCA must be matched by at least one dollar from non-federal sources. Since its inception, more than 2,644 NAWCA projects have contributed to the conservation of more than 33.4 million acres of habitat across North America.
The more than 1,600 page FY2017 spending bill includes:
- A $3 million increase for the NAWCA program from FY2016. The program was appropriated $38.145 million through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
- A fully funded GLRI program with $300 million authorized through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- $400 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for the rest of the fiscal year.
- $73 million for the Chesapeake Bay Program through the EPA, including $6 million for nutrient and sediment removal grants and $6 million for small watershed grants.
In the 115th Congress, more than 175 bipartisan members of the House of Representatives showed their support for the NAWCA program by signing a Dear Colleague appropriations letter for FY2018. The Senate NAWCA Dear Colleague letter is open for signatures and continues to gain momentum but will close May 22.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 14 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.