Sens. Barbara Boxer (CA) and David Vitter (LA) worked together as lead co-sponsors of the bipartisan bill to reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). Below is an excerpt of the video interview with Sen. Vitter on the bill. You can watch the full video at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.
You recently introduced a bill to reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. Tell us why it’s important.
This is a very important program that expired in 2012, so it needs to be reauthorized. I’m leading a bipartisan coalition to reauthorize this bill because it’s very significant in enhancing and conserving wetlands. It does it in a very effective way, not only using taxpayer federal dollars, but matching that in the private sector and really leveraging taxpayer dollars in a very important way. The bottom line is we need to protect and enhance wetlands. We need to protect all the waterfowl and wildlife and the quality of life we enjoy, whether it’s watching birds, appreciating the landscape or hunting and fishing.
Can you talk about NAWCA as a model for successful private-public partnerships?
Absolutely. As I suggested, one of the real keys to this program is that it doesn’t just use federal taxpayer dollars. It uses [federal dollars] to leverage and bring in private dollars. Over the life of the program, it’s brought in more than $3 of private money for every dollar of federal taxpayer money. So it’s leveraged those dollars really well and gotten a lot of good conservation of wetlands done as a result.