Davids, Moran, Marshall, LaTurner Announce $2 Million in Funding for Wetland Conservation Projects and National Wildlife Refuges in Kansas
(Washington, D.C., May 9, 2022) – Today, Representative Sharice Davids, Senators Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall, M.D., and Representative Jake LaTurner announced the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission awarded $2 million to Ducks Unlimited to conserve and restore more than 7,301 acres of wetland and associated upland habitats across Kansas. This grant, made through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), will protect habitats for waterfowl, songbirds, and other birds, while also supporting local economies and outdoor recreational opportunities, such as hunting, fishing, and birdwatching. The full $2 million will be matched by partner funds.
“Over the past 300 years, Kansas has lost nearly 50 percent of its wetlands, endangering birds and plant species that are necessary to maintain a healthy ecosystem,” said Davids. “I am honored to support NAWCA and help bring this funding home to Kansas. The investments announced today will protect and restore our state’s wetlands for generations to come, ensuring a thriving habitat for our local wildlife.”
“Due to the required public-private partnerships, NAWCA projects provide some of the best ‘bang for your buck’ in conservation,” said Lynne Rozine, Kansas Ducks Unlimited State Chair. “Supporting Kansas’ wetlands means supporting our people, economy and wildlife. Representatives Davids and LaTurner and Senators Moran and Marshall have long been champions for voluntary conservation programs, like NAWCA, and we’re excited to build on the program’s success in Kansas’ third district and throughout the state to protect and improve more habitat for future generations.”
“Hunting, fishing and birdwatching help bring tourism to Kansas, especially in rural areas,” said Moran. “I’ve seen the important work Ducks Unlimited is doing in our state on my annual conservation tours, and this investment will help continue their mission to preserve Kansas’ wetlands, waterfowl and wildlife for future generations.”
“The rich partnerships created through programs like NAWCA have been monumental in preserving American bird habitats and fostering tourism in rural communities,” said Marshall. “This investment in Kansas will be pivotal in wetland conservation and I look forward to the impact it will have on hunting and fishing opportunities in our state.”
“Ducks Unlimited has already done fantastic work to help conserve and restore thousands of habitat acres across Kansas,” said LaTurner. “This investment from the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission made through the NAWCA will protect over 7,000 additional acres and grow our local economies by supporting hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreational activities across our state.
This funding continues an eight-year wetland conservation effort in Kansas, working with over sixty partners and conserving thousands of acres. The project announced today will jumpstart the following:
- Over 2,103 acres of wetlands will be acquired, protected, restored, and/or enhanced.
- Approximately 5,075 acres of conservation easements will perpetually protect habitat on private lands in the Central Flyway.
- 14 partners have pledged their support to preserve habitat and combat threats of habitat loss in Kansas.
Kansas currently has 28 NAWCA projects either completed or underway. These projects have conserved 165,262 acres of wildlife habitat. This NAWCA funding of more than $18.6 million has stimulated partner contributions of over $31.1 million, not including multi-state projects.
NAWCA is the only federal grant program dedicated to the conservation of wetland habitats for migratory birds. Since 1989, funding has advanced the conservation of wetland habitats and their wildlife in all 50 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico, while engaging more than 6,600 partners in over 3,200 projects. Through NAWCA, federal funds are typically leveraged at twice the legally required dollar-for-dollar non-federal match-to-grant ratio.
Wetlands provide many economic, ecological, and social benefits to species and the surrounding communities. They are also important protections from the effects of climate change such as flooding and rising seas. Partners in NAWCA projects include private landowners, states, local governments, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups, Tribes, land trusts and corporations.
A complete list of the approved U.S., Canada and Mexico NAWCA projects is available online.
Additional information about North American wetlands and migratory bird conservation can be found online, where the most up-to-date waterfowl habitat and population information is found.