The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was directly appropriated $250 million in new funding under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) for significant climate and conservation projects. These projects will help rebuild and restore units of the National Wildlife Refuge System and State Wildlife Management areas and provide capacity for activities related to recovery planning and implementation for threatened and endangered species.
The IRA, signed by President Biden on Aug. 16, 2022, supports the work of the Service and its conservation partners, and helps local, state, and Tribal communities tackle the climate crisis while advancing endangered species priorities and environmental justice.
Service Inflation Reduction Act Focus Areas
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provides critical funding that will allow the Service to increase the resiliency of habitats and infrastructure to help the national wildlife refuges withstand severe and unanticipated weather events. The funding also provides additional resources for addressing backlogs related to recovery planning and recovery needs for at-risk and listed species.
National Wildlife Refuge System Resiliency
The Service received $121.25 million, available until Sept. 30, 2026, to rebuild and restore units of the National Wildlife Refuge System and partnering State Wildlife Management Areas that have been affected by adverse weather events. With this portion of IRA funding, the Service will prioritize projects to promote coastal resilience and climate adaptation, address threats, and provide for additional data collection needed to support successful natural resource resilience. The Service will work with state partners to complete geographically diverse, large-scale projects that are mutually beneficial for these conservation areas, including projects that benefit historically underserved communities and Tribal interests.
Projects, location and total funding available through Fiscal Year 2026
- Albemarle-Pamlico Sound restoration, North Carolina ($27.25M)
- Working together on a landscape conservation approach for a climate resilient Northern Forest, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wisconsin ($25M)
- Prairie Pothole Region - landscape conservation and restoration, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota ($23M)
- Lower Mississippi River Valley nature-based resiliency, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee ($20M)
- Upper Mississippi and Illinois River nature-based resiliency and restoration, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin ($10M)
- Bison management and grasslands habitat improvements across several Service refuges ($7.5M)
- Nature-based solutions to support the endangered Yaqui fish species on San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge, Arizona ($7M)
- Acquisition of LiDAR Data over National Wildlife Refuge System lands in partnership with the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), Nationwide ($1M)
- Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge and UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge Grasslands and Nature-based Resiliency, Montana ($500,000)
Endangered Species Act Recovery Planning
The Service received a $62.5 million investment to address Endangered Species Recovery Planning efforts that will be implemented over the next several years to benefit more than 300 species currently listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
This infusion of funding will allow the Service to hire additional biologists so we can ensure recovery plans are in place to provide the roadmaps for on-the-ground implementation actions that are necessary to recover species and remove them from the Endangered Species list. Biologists will initially focus efforts on recovery planning for the 32 threatened and endangered species (photo album of some of the 32) that have completed Species Status Assessments.
The purpose of the ESA is to conserve endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems on which they depend. The ESA is extraordinarily effective at preventing species from going extinct and has inspired action to conserve at-risk species and their habitat before they need to be listed as threatened or endangered. More than 99 percent of all listed species are still with us today since the ESA was signed into law in 1973. As a result of the ESA, more than 100 species of plants and animals have been delisted based on recovery or downlisted from endangered to threatened.