North American Wetland Conservation Act

Photo credit: Casey Stemler/USFWS

North American Wetland Conservation Act

NAWCA offers competitive grants to carry out wetlands conservation in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. NAWCA was passed, in part, to support the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The foundation of the NAWCA program is “partnerships.” The primary idea behind this matching grant program is to engage, excite, and include landowners, non-profit organizations, industry, state governments, and a host of other partners in local wetland and grassland conservation projects. Consequently, NAWCA Standard and Small Grants are available to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects for the benefit of migratory birds and other wildlife. The NAWCA grant program is invaluable to the PPJV and without our willing partners and available NAWCA funding, our land conservation efforts would be severely diminished across the PPJV region.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Bird Habitat Conservation is responsible for administering this federal grant program. The NAWCA program receives a significant portion of its allocation from annual Congressional appropriations. Additional program funding comes from fines collected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, federal fuel excise taxes on small gasoline engines, and interest accrued on the fund established under the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937.

Nationally, from 1991-2013, more than 4,800 partners completed 2,305 projects through the use of more than $1.2 billion in grants. They have contributed another $2.6 billion in matching funds to affect 27 million acres of habitat across the continent. In the PPR, PPJV partners work diligently to gather necessary matching funds, which on average is over twice as much as they receive in federal funds. The monies are used to conduct wetland and grassland conservation, restoration, and habitat enhancement across the PPJV region.

"The North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program were both instrumental in helping me to restore wetlands and provide additional waterfowl habitat."

- South Dakota landowner

For more information about NAWCA and how to apply for a grant, visit the USFWS NAWCA web pages.