WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 23, 2018 – President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus appropriations bill funding the government through the remainder of fiscal year 2018.
“Ensuring adequate resources are in place at the federal level guarantees Ducks Unlimited can continue our mission of conserving, restoring and managing wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall. “Investments in programs like the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) not only help our nation’s wildlife, but support clean water practices that benefit everyone. On behalf of more than 1 million members and supporters of Ducks Unlimited, we thank Congress and the president for recognizing the importance of conservation provisions in this spending package.”
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 2,200-page FY2018 spending bill includes:
• A $1.855 million increase for the NAWCA program from FY2017. The program was appropriated $40 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).
• $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.
• $5 million in new funds were appropriated for the Delaware Restoration Program, through the USFWS. Grants for this program will fund technical assistance programs that will support locally-led projects to improve water quality, restore and protect habitat, support flood mitigation, enhance resilience and increase public access and recreation.
• Voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, received full funding through the Department of Agriculture. These programs help incentivize farmers, ranchers and landowners to conserve critical wildlife habitat.
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.