National Wildlife Refuge System

Funds to Enhance Migratory Bird Habitat

Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, TX, is one of five refuges to receive funding from the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission to restore or enhance wetland habitat.
Credit: Chuck Gonzalez

March 27 - The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission today approved $61.3 million in funding to protect, restore and enhance more than 205,000 acres of wetlands and associated uplands in the United States, Canada and Mexico. This includes $6.6 million to acquire land or easements on five national wildlife refuges – funds raised largely through the sale of Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, known as “Duck Stamps.”

For every dollar spent on Federal Duck Stamps, 98 cents go directly to acquire vital habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The commission oversees the
use of Federal Duck Stamp funds for the purchase and lease of wetland habitats for national wildlife refuges. To date, close to 6 million acres of wetlands have been purchased using more
than $800 million in Duck Stamp revenue.

“These grants are critical to maintaining the health and vitality of America’s wetlands and the abundance and variety of wildlife they support,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “Wetlands are particularly critical to migratory birds all along their flyways. These grants will enable our partners in Canada, Mexico and the United States to protect and improve the quality of thee habitats.”

The five refuge projects approved by the commission are:

The commission is chaired by the Secretary of the Interior. Its  members include U.S. Senators Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Mark Pryor of Arkansas; U.S. Representatives John Dingell of Michigan and Robert Wittman of Virginia; and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act is the only federal grants program dedicated to the conservation of wetland habitats for migratory birds. Since 1990, approximately 5,000 partners in more than 2,000 projects have received more than $1.2 billion in grants. The grants have leveraged another $2.6 billion in matching funds to help improve more than 27 million
acres of habitat.

More information about the grant projects

Last updated: March 27, 2014