Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Migratory Bird Conservation Commission Approves $28 Million to Conserve Waterfowl, Shorebirds and Other Species in 16 States
Recognizes retiring Rep. John Dingell for 45 Years of Service

November 12, 2014

Contact(s):

Contact: Laury Parramore
703-358-2541
laury_parramore@fws.gov



Revised on 11/14/2014

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission today approved $28 million in funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners to purchase, lease, restore or otherwise conserve more than 128,000 acres of wetland habitats for ducks, bitterns, sandpipers and other birds in the United States.

The commission also recognized the contributions of Rep. John Dingell, who is retiring after an unprecedented 45 years of service as a member.

“Our nation’s efforts to conserve migratory birds have no better supporter than Congressman Dingell, who has worked tirelessly over more than four decades to protect and restore the wetlands and upland habitat so vital to them,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “Today, during his last meeting with the council, we continued this legacy with the acquisition and conservation of additional habitat for migratory birds and countless other species of wildlife.”

“Many people don’t realize how important swamps, bogs, marshes and other wetlands are to maintaining the populations of birds we see flying overhead and visiting our backyards,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “These habitats play a crucial role in breeding, migration and other parts of migratory bird life cycles.”

Of the total funds approved by the commission, $24.6 million will be provided through North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants to conserve more than 127,000 acres of wetlands and adjoining areas in 16 states. Eight of the 24 grants will target species or areas affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Grants made through this program require matching investments; the projects approved today will leverage an additional $54.4 million in non-federal matching funds. More information about these grant projects is available at: http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/index.shtm.

The commission also announced the approval of more than $3.5 million for fee title land acquisitions of more than 1,700 acres on four national wildlife refuges. These funds were raised largely through the sale of Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as “Duck Stamps.”  For every dollar spent on Federal Duck Stamps, 98 cents go directly to acquire habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System. This year the Federal Duck Stamp celebrates its 80th anniversary.

This year also marks the 85th anniversary of the commission, which first met in February 1929. Members include U.S. Senators Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Mark Pryor of Arkansas; U.S. Representative Robert Wittman of Virginia; Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.