WASHINGTON – President Biden recently released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2023. While the president’s budget is only a request to Congress, it informs Congress in the drafting of annual spending bills.
This year’s proposed budget includes investments for clean energy research, a civilian conservation corps, and equity initiatives to help disadvantaged communities. It would increase budgets across major environmental agencies, including the Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“Federal conservation investments are critical to bringing birds back and building resilient communities,” said Justin Stokes, deputy chief conservation officer, National Audubon Society. “Birds are telling us that their survival—and ours—depends on investments in healthy natural spaces and clean energy to curb the effects of climate change and address the biodiversity crisis.”
Among the programs in the President’s proposed budget are:
$3.3 billion for clean energy projects
$1.8 billion to help the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior strengthen federal firefighting services
$1.45 billion toward Justice40 initiatives to advance racial equity, clean up pollution, and create good-paying jobs for front line communities
In the Great Lakes region, there is some disappointment with the level of proposed funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program that serves to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world. You can read more from Audubon Great Lakes here.
The president’s proposed budget would add an additional $407 million to Everglades restoration. With funding already provided by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the world’s largest ecosystem restoration project could receive a total of nearly $1.5 billion over the next year. Read more from Audubon Florida here.
As Congress considers the FY23 budget proposal from President Biden, Audubon urges increased investment for federal agencies and programs that will reduce carbon emissions, conserve our lands and waters, and restore bird populations.
Last month, Audubon’s Justin Stokes had the opportunity to submit testimony as a part of the Congressional appropriations process for fiscal year 2023. In his testimony he said:
“More than ever before, Americans across the country and members of Congress across both aisles agree that climate change poses a serious threat to our health and safety. But recognizing the threat is not enough. Congress must take immediate and concrete steps to address the causes and impacts of climate change, which are being felt across the country, including disastrous wildfire and drought seasons in the West, increasing numbers and severity of storm events, and relentless sea-level rise affecting coastal communities. These climate threats are disproportionately impacting marginalized and historically underserved areas and communities of color, which further exacerbates economic inequalities.”
Since 1970, we have lost 3 billion of America’s birds and two-thirds of our remaining birds are now at risk of extinction due to climate change. Audubon’s 2019 Survival by Degrees report found that if we take action now, we can help improve the chances for 76% of species at risk.
Audubon policy staff is continuing to analyze the President’s proposed budget and is actively working with Congress as it begins to hold hearings on FY23 appropriations. In the coming weeks, Audubon will share its annual list of budget priorities aimed at helping birds, people, and the places we need.
Media Contact: Matt Smelser, firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more how to help at www.audubon.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.