|Photo courtesy of Nicholas T's/Flickr Creative Commons|
Good news out of Washington, DC for birders and other wildlife enthusiasts. Despite the chaos on Capital Hill surrounding the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, the US House of Representatives made time for another environmental issue, approving $52 million for wetland conservation and rehabilitation for 2010. The move will be critical in helping to maintain and protect migratory bird habitats in North America.
The money will be distributed through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), an arm of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and is a sizeable $10 million increase from previous years’ budgets. NAWCA helps stimulate wetlands projects in the US, Canada and Mexico by providing matching grants for private and public projects, particularly those ventures aimed at protecting migratory birds. Every $1 donated from federal funding must be matched by $1 or more by local and/or private organizations, including state fish and wildlife agencies.
Since it was passed in 1989, NAWCA has helped fund over 1,800 projects on over 24 million acres of wetlands in all 50 states, areas of Canada, and areas of Mexico.