|Rep. John Dingell and Rep. Curt Weldon |
WASHINGTON, August 2, 2005 - Congress recently approved $40 million in appropriations for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) for the upcoming fiscal year. After remaining flat for the past three fiscal years, this is a net increase of more than $2 million from 2005, an impressive gain considering the current fiscal climate.
“This notable increase is directly attributed to the strong support for funding within the Administration, House and Senate and the on-the-ground success of NAWCA over the last 15 years,” said Scott Sutherland, director of Governmental Affairs for Ducks Unlimited.
Senators Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, along with Representatives John Dingell, D-Mich., and Curt Weldon, R-Penn., sent a letter to members of Congress asking for support for the fiscal year 2006 appropriations for NAWCA. With strong bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate, the Appropriations Committees received letters with 200 and 59 signatures, respectively.
“We commend Senators Lincoln and Crapo and Representatives Dingell and Weldon for their leadership in Congress on behalf of NAWCA,” said Sutherland.
NAWCA was enacted in 1989 and provides federal cost-share funding to support the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. NAWCA is a non-regulatory, incentive-based, voluntary wildlife
|Sen. Mike Crapo and Sen. Blanche Lincoln |
conservation program that stimulates public-private partnerships to protect, restore, and manage wetland habitats for a diversity of migratory birds and other wildlife.
To date, more than 2,000 partners have leveraged NAWCA dollars to conserve more than 20 million acres of wetlands and waterfowl habitat in North America. Partners include federal, state and local agencies, private landowners, corporations, community groups, and conservation organizations. On average, each federal dollar is matched by three or more dollars at the local level, which is well above the 1:1 required match.
Congressional Appropriation Committee leaders Rep. Charles Taylor, R-N.C., Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont. and Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., were responsible for the decision to increase funding. With increased dollars in 2006 and beyond, NAWCA will expand its conservation success and continue to provide an effective tool for wildlife habitat conservation in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The funding bill that includes NAWCA now awaits the President’s signature.
For more information on NAWCA, click here.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands – nature’s most productive ecosystem – and continues to lose more than 100,000 wetland acres each year.