WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ducks Unlimited (DU) hosted the annual Capitol Hill Dinner and Auction in Washington, D.C. With more than 650 total guests in attendance, including Biden Administration officials, congressional staff, DU leadership and more than 55 bipartisan Members of Congress, wetlands conservation was once again the focus of government leaders from across the United States.

The dinner was opened by Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy (CA), and Rep. Lisa Blunt-Rochester (DE) led the invocation.

It’s a pleasure to gather in our nation’s capital to celebrate wetlands conservation with our friends in Congress,” said DU CEO Adam Putnam. “The tireless work of our volunteers across the country is what enables DU to have such a strong reputation in Washington, and this event is a testament to that hard work. It’s also proof of the broad, bipartisan support for the North American model of wildlife conservation in Congress, and DU will continue working with our partners in government, conservation and industry to ensure our nation’s investment in our natural places remains strong.”

 Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy

Emblematic of DU’s bipartisan support in Congress, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) – one of DU’s highest priority conservation programs – received record funding at $50 million last year. And support for programs like NAWCA remains high. In 2023, more than 165 Representatives and 52 Senators have already expressed their support for NAWCA funding to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. 

NAWCA is a voluntary matching grant program that leverages non-federal and federal funds for wetland restoration. Since its enactment in 1989, NAWCA has conserved more than 30 million acres and created an average of 7,500 new jobs annually. Every dollar spent by the federal government, on average, receives a $3 match from program partners like Ducks Unlimited. Further demonstrating the effectiveness of investments made by wetlands programs like NAWCA, the recent State of the Birds report revealed widespread losses of birds in all habitats – except wetlands.

Rep. Lisa Blunt-Rochester

DU hosts the annual Capitol Hill Dinner and Auction every spring in our nation’s capital, welcoming Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle and leaders of the current presidential administration, including from the White House, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of the Interior. 

For more information, visit www.ducks.org, and be sure to follow DU’s Twitter feed – @DucksUnlimited – to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.

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 15 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. 

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Parker Williams
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