Midwest Region


September 16, 2011

Ashley Spratt, 612-713-5314
Barbara Pardo, 612-71-5433

$16 million in federal and matching funding for migratory bird habitat in the Midwest

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) applauds the approval of $4 million in federal funding for projects benefiting wetlands and associated habitat in the Midwestern states of Iowa, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). The federal funding, recently approved by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, is supplemented by more than $12 million in matching and non-matching funds from conservation partners to support the projects to benefit ducks, geese and other migratory birds.

“Conservation success is best achieved through pro-active partnerships between public and private agencies and organizations,” said Service Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius. “The waterfowl and migratory bird habitat of the Midwestern United States is enhanced by partnership efforts like the Upper Mississippi and Great Lakes Joint Venture team, and the leadership of conservation organizations and states.”

Passed in 1989, NAWCA provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The Act was passed in part to support activities under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an international agreement that provides a strategy for the long-term protection of wetlands and associated upland habitats needed by waterfowl and other migratory birds in North America.

NAWCA grants are funded by annual Congressional appropriations; fines, penalties and forfeitures levied under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; interest accrued on funds under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act; and excise taxes paid on small engine fuels through the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Fund.

NAWCA Standard Grant projects benefitting migratory bird habitat in the Midwest Region are part of the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture and along the Mississippi Flyway. The projects are:

Western Michigan Coastal Habitat Project (12 western Michigan counties)
Congressional District: 2, 3, 4, and 6
Grantee: Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Partners: Land Conservancy of West Michigan; Muskegon Conservation District; Ottawa County Parks; City of Whitehall; Occidental Chemical Corporation; Conservation Resource Alliance; private individuals
Grant: $1,000,000 Matching Funds: $2,475,030 Nonmatching Funds/Other Federal Funds: $238,500

The objectives of this project are to protect and restore critical wetland and adjacent upland habitats, ensuring long-term conservation of these ecosystems. Efforts will target critical breeding and migration habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, colonial waterbirds, and migratory landbirds. The goal is to protect 1,687 acres, including 884 acres of wetlands and 803 acres of associated uplands. The project also will restore 300 acres of wetlands and 100 acres of associated warm season grasslands. Protecting and restoring these lands will provide breeding and migratory habitat for waterfowl species such as mallard, American black duck, northern pintail, blue-winged teal, lesser and greater scaup, and trumpeter swan; and foraging, nesting, and migratory stop-over habitat for shorebirds, waterbirds, and upland birds such as American bittern, least bittern, black-crowned night heron, northern harrier, American woodcock, Acadian flycatcher, marsh wren, sandhill crane, and pied-billed grebe.

Cedar-Wapsi Valley Wetlands in Iowa (16 counties)
Congressional District: 1, 2, 3, and 4
Grantee: Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Partners: Eight county conservation boards; Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation; Ted R. Fariss Estate; Pheasants Forever, Iowa State Council; Young Family Foundation; private individuals; Pheasants Forever, Build a Wildlife Area; 11 Pheasants Forever county and regional chapters; Whitetails Unlimited, Wapsi Bottoms and Cedar Valley chapters; Diamond Joe Casino (Peninsula Gaming); Waterfowl USA, Mississippi Valley Chapter; Floyd County Izaak Walton League; Nashua Fish and Game Club; Buchanan County Wildlife Association; National Wild Turkey Federation
Grant: $1,000,000 Matching Funds: $2,946,379

This project focuses on wetland protection and restoration through public land acquisition within the floodplains of the Cedar and Wapsipinicon rivers in northeastern Iowa. These rivers are considered to be among the best remaining examples of major interior rivers in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. The project area is an important part of a migration corridor for waterfowl, including lesser scaup, and other wetland-dependent migratory birds moving between the Central Mississippi River and the Prairie Pothole Region.

Mingo Basin Partnership in Missouri (Bollinger, Butler, Stoddard, Wayne, Pike, Lincoln and St. Charles counties)
Congressional District: 2, 8 and 9
Grantee: Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Partners: Wetlands America Trust; Missouri Department of Conservation; Audubon Society of Missouri; Mingo Friends Group; Conservation Federation of Missouri; Conservation Employees Credit Union; Missouri Conservation Pioneers; Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative; Mississippi Valley Duck Hunters; United Country Realty
Grant: $1,000,000 Matching Funds: $3,776,465 Nonmatching Funds/Other Federal Funds: $224,000

The Mingo Basin, located approximately 150 miles south of the Confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers, is a major migration and wintering area for migratory birds from the Mississippi and Central flyways. Mingo National Wildlife Refuge comprises the majority of the basin. This project includes replacing a major water control and an undersized spillway structure on Mingo NWR with one large structure at the proper elevation and with increased capacity. The result is expected to be a greater forage base for diverse wetland-dependent wildlife species.

Northeastern Ohio Wetlands Project (Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Portage and Trumbull counties)
Congressional District: 14 and 17
Grantee: Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Partners: Cleveland Museum of Natural History; Geauga Park District; Portage Park District; Trumbull County MetroParks; Western Reserve Land Conservancy
Grant: $1,000,000 Matching Funds: $2,698,119 Nonmatching Funds/Other Federal Funds: $50,000

This project addresses a critical need to conserve wetland habit in northeastern Ohio. Situated on the southern shore of Lake Erie, this area provides critical migration stopover and breeding habitat to an array of waterfowl and migratory birds. The primary goal of the project is to permanently protect emergent, forested, and scrub-shrub wetlands, riparian areas, and associated uplands on targeted tracts to benefit waterfowl and other migratory birds in areas vulnerable to urbanization. The secondary goal is to restore wetland habitats on private lands to provide connections among permanently protected areas. The project areas provide nesting, brood rearing, migration stopover, and wintering habitat for a number of waterfowl species, wetland-dependent species, and landbirds, such as American black ducks, wood ducks, American and least bitterns, and king rails and Virginia rails.

About the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture (UMGL JV):
The mission of the UMGL JV is to deliver the full spectrum of bird conservation through regionally based, biologically driven, landscape-oriented partnerships. The geographic boundary of the UMGL JV includes all of Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, plus portions of Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio. The JV strives for sustainable populations of all birds through regionally coordinated conservation actions based on the best (or state-of-the-art) scientific information and techniques available. Explicit bird population goals, decision tools, and an implementation plan are used to guide resources for efficient conservation delivery, research, and evaluation. Since 2007, partners within the UMGL JV have protected, restored, and enhanced more than 820,889 acres of habitat. More information can be found at

More information about the approved NAWCA grant programs and projects is available on the Web at:


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Last updated: June 15, 2016