United States

Standard Grants

The U.S. Standard Grants Program is a competitive, matching grants program that supports public-private partnerships carrying out projects in the United States that further the goals of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). These projects must involve long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats for the benefit of all wetlands-associated migratory birds.

Since 1990, some 4,300 partners in 1,264 projects have received $1.09 billion in grants. They have contributed another $2.8 billion in matching funds to affect 10 million acres of habitat.

About the Grants Program

The U.S. Standard Grants Program began supporting projects in the United States in 1990, shortly after the North American Wetlands Conservation Act of 1989 was passed. This program has been receiving 50 percent of the total available funding for Act-supported projects each fiscal year. In recent years, this amount has been approximately $40 million annually.


Applicants submit project proposals to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Division of Bird Habitat Conservation (Division) for either of the program's two funding cycles per year. All proposals must be submitted through Grants.Gov. In order to apply for a grant, you and/or your organization must complete the Grants.gov registration process. The registration process for an organization or an individual can take between three to five business days or as long as four weeks if all steps are not completed in a timely manner. Please register early on  Grants.gov

Before you can view and complete an application package, you MUST have Adobe Reader installed. Application packages are posted in Adobe Reader format. You may receive a validation error using incompatible versions of Adobe Reader. To prevent a validation error, it is now recommended you uninstall any earlier versions of Adobe Reader and  install the latest compatible version of Adobe Reader.

After a preliminary review by Division staff, Joint Venture Coordinators, and North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Council) staff, eligible proposals are presented to the Council. The Council further reviews, ranks, and recommends projects to the  Migratory Bird Conservation Commission for final funding approval. The Division is responsible for administering the grants for the approved projects.


Contact the Joint Venture Coordinator in your project area for assistance with developing a project proposal, for information about how proposals are ranked, and/or for guidance on Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and National Historic Preservation Act compliance requirements.

For general program information, contact the U.S. Standard Grants Program Proposal Coordinator: Stacy Sanchez, (stacy_sanchez@fws.gov), 703/358-2017.

Grant Deadlines

February 25, 2022:
U.S. Standard Grants, Cycle 1
July 8, 2022:
U.S. Standard Grants, Cycle 2
May 19, 2021:
Mexico Standard Grants
August 26, 2022:
Canada Standard Grants
October 14, 2021:
U.S. Small Grants

Last Updated: September 29, 2020