Funding for Wetlands Projects, Additions to National Wildlife Refuges
Interior Secretary Gale
Norton announced today that the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission
approved more than $27 million for wetland habitat conservation in
the United States and Canada to benefit migratory birds and other
wildlife. At the same time, the Commission also approved the acquisition
of nearly 16,000 acres of important migratory bird habitat to be added
to units in the National Wildlife
The Commission's action
will provide funding to states and other partners through the North
American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) to conserve habitat for
migratory birds. Also, the Commission used money from the sale of
the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, the Duck Stamp,
to purchase key tracts of land for the Service's National Wildlife
Refuge System in six states.
“We are working to
make good on President Bush’s goal of restoring, enhancing and
protecting 3 million acres of wetlands over the next five years,”
said Secretary Gale Norton, who chairs the Commission. “With
this round of NAWCA proposals, we are set to restore nearly 22,000
acres, enhance nearly 89,000 acres, and protect more than 217,000
acres of wetlands around the nation.”
support for wetlands conservation was clearly evident when he approved
the reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act,
renewing that commitment and supporting increased funding through
this outstanding public-private partnership program. Wetlands provide
excellent habitat for wildlife, and provide millions of Americans
with a broad range of outdoor recreational opportunities."
Working with Partners
to Conserve Wetlands
The NAWCA Standard Grants
Program will fund 22 projects in 13 states for more than $20.5 million
to protect or restore more than 1.1 million acres of wetlands and
associated upland habitats. Project partners will contribute up
to $150 million. A list of grants appears at the end of this release.
Since 1990, more than
2,000 partners have been involved in more than 1,000 projects made
possible through the Standard Grant Program. Canadian, Mexican and
U.S. partners focus on protecting, restoring, and enhancing wetland
habitat. Project partners must minimally match the grant request
at a one-to-one ratio. More than $600 million has been invested
through the Act and total partner contributions exceed $1.7 billion.
More than 22 million acres of wetlands and associated uplands have
been affected across the continent.
The Commission also approved
more than $6.4 million in funding for 13 projects in Canada. Partners
there are adding more than $15.4 million to conserve 98,000 acres
"Since many of North
America's waterfowl species are dependent on breeding habitat in
Canada it is important that we use our NAWCA funds to conserve habitat
there as well," said Service Director Steve Williams. “All
of this work with partners will help us continue to improve habitat
conditions and promote solution oriented conservation of migratory
birds and other wildlife for future generations.”
Funding for this program
comes from Congressional appropriations, funds collected from fines,
penalties, and forfeitures under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act,
interest accrued to the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act,
and from excise taxes paid on small engine fuels through Wallop-Breaux
Amendments to the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act.
Federal Duck Stamp
Revenues for Conservation
The Commission approved
more than $15.5 million in Federal Duck Stamp funds to acquire land
for the National Wildlife Refuge System. All acquisitions were previously
approved by the affected states.
"Sportsmen and women
have contributed a great deal to the development of the National
Wildlife Refuge System," Norton said. "Money raised by
the sale of Federal Duck Stamps pays for this land acquisition.
Since the first Duck Stamp sale in 1934, nearly $700 million has
been raised to purchase more than five million acres of wetlands
for the refuge system."
New Southeastern National
Wildlife Refuge System acquisitions approved by the Conservation
Acquisition of 1,082 acres to provide habitat for waterfowl
within the boundaries of Red River National Wildlife Refuge.
Acquisition of 10,948 acres to protect bottomland hardwood forest
for migratory waterfowl within the boundaries of Tensas River
National Wildlife Refuge.
The Migratory Bird Conservation
Act of 1929 established the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission
to approve land to be purchased for the National Wildlife Refuge System
with monies from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. The fund is
supported by revenue collected from Federal Duck Stamp sales, import
duties collected on arms and ammunition, right-of-way payments to
the refuge system, and receipts from national wildlife refuge entry
fees. For more information about the Federal Duck Stamp program please
The Commission meets three
times a year to approve funding proposals. Permanent Commission members
are Interior Secretary Norton, Senators Thad Cochran and John Breaux;
Representatives John Dingell and Curt Weldon; Secretary of Agriculture
Ann Veneman; and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Mike
of the approved NAWCA projects for the Southeast are:
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and seven partners
will receive $1 million and contribute up to $45 million for a
project called Bonneau Ferry to conserve nearly 12,000 acres of
wetlands near the Cooper River.
- Ducks Unlimited and nine
partners will receive nearly $1 million and contribute up to $7 million
for a project called Chenier Plain Coastal Wetlands Conservation Phase
II to conserve nearly 11,000 acres of wetlands in Louisiana and Texas.
- The Service and five partners
will receive more than $765,000 and contribute up to $2.1 million
for a project called Hanson Marsh Hydrologic Restoration to conserve
more than 45,000 acres of wetlands in Louisiana.
- The Nature Conservancy
and five partners will receive nearly $996,000 and contribute up to
$3.5 million for a project called Lower Mississippi Valley Priority
Sites Phase I to conserve nearly 9,000 acres of wetlands in Louisiana.
- The Louisiana Department
of Wildlife and Fisheries and three partners will receive $1 million
and contribute up to $2.3 million for a project called Manchac Wildlife
Management Area Prairie Shoreline Protection to conserve nearly 71,000
acres of wetlands in Louisiana.
- The State of Louisiana
and two partners will receive $1 million and contribute up to $3.1
million for a project called Maurepas/Pontchartrain Habitat Conservation
Effort Phase I to conserve 7,000 acres of wetlands.
- The Service, American
Electric Power and The Conservation Fund will receive $1 million and
contribute up to $2.2 million for a project called Restoration and
Expansion of Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge I, to conserve more
than 6,400 acres of wetlands in Louisiana.
For summaries of funded U.S.
Standard Grant projects, please see http://birdhabitat.fws.gov/NAWCA/projects/USprojects/standardgrants090804/USstandardgrantsprojects.html.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving,
protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats
for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages
the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses
544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other
special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries,
64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations.
The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered
Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally
significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such
as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts.
It also oversees the Federal Aid program, which distributes hundreds
of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment
to state fish and wildlife agencies.