Protecting, restoring and enhancing wetland habitat for birds across the continent.

What We Do

Our Services

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act of 1989 provides matching grants to organizations and partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects through four grant programs: the U.S. Standard Grant Program, U.S. Small Grant Program, Mexico Program, and Canada Program

Projects funded through these grants are consistent with the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an international agreement and strategy for the long-term protection of wetlands and associated upland habitats to support waterfowl and other migratory birds. 

The North American Wetlands Conservation Council (the Council) reviews eligible proposals in two cycles per year. The Council may directly approve Small Grants and recommends Standard Grant projects to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, a seven-member commission authorized by NAWCA. 

This program has helped conserve over 32 million acres of wetlands and associated upland habitats that benefit birds and other wildlife while also establishing or enhancing many of the continents most popular destinations for hunting and birding.

Collage of bird photos taken by Ernesto Gomez, partner working on projects through the NAWCA Mexico Program in Yucatan.

Our Projects and Initiatives

Since 1991, more than 6,938 partners have received more than $2.15 billion in grants for more than 3,381 projects. Partners have contributed another $4.3 billion in matching funds to improve more than 32 million acres of habitat, totaling more than $6.45 billion for wetland conservation that also benefits people, birds and other wildlife.

You can learn more about the projects by visiting our project database.

The most recently approved project summaries (2024-Cycle 2) can be found here.

Our Laws and Regulations

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act authorizes the grant program and establishes broad guidelines for its management. 

Latest Stories and Topics

Our Services

The NAWCA program provides grants to wetlands conservation projects across North America through four grant programs: the U.S Standard Grant Program, U.S. Small Grant Program, Canada Grant Program, and Mexico Grant Program. These competitive grant programs also require grant requests to be matched by partner contributions at no less than a 1-to-1 ratio.

Our Library

Two green, red, brown, black & white male wood ducks glide across a reflective water
North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Section 10. REPORT TO CONGRESS: The Secretary shall report to the appropriate Committees on the implementation of this Act. The report shall include: (1) a biennial assessment of: (A) the estimated number of acres of wetlands and habitat for waterfowl and...