- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
- The house has not voted
Water, Oceans, and WildlifeCommittee on Natural ResourcesIntroducedJanuary 30th, 2019
- house Committees
What is House Bill H.R. 925?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 925
“Our nation’s wetlands contain some of our most beautiful spaces and habitats that are home to a variety of diverse species. Conserving those wetlands is also a critical part of preventing future storm damage and soil erosion. That’s why I am honored to reintroduce the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, a bill that funds conservation and mitigation projects at wetlands across our nation. We know that this works, in fact it’s one of our most cost-effective conservation projects. Since 1991, outside partners have invested more than $3 billion to match federal investments of $1.5 billion, well-exceeding match requirements. These investments create local jobs and boost local economies and I am proud to be fighting to ensure this program gets the funding it needs from Congress.”
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), sponsor of this bill’s Senate companion, says:
“From sandhill cranes to ducks like pintails and mallards, wetlands are critical for providing habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. As a member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, I am proud to help approve NAWCA grants, and I have been impressed by the program’s demonstrated success in leveraging partnerships to restore essential habitat—including the Middle Rio Grande in New Mexico. NAWCA also supports our thriving multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation economy. We must build on this conservation success to ensure our kids and grandkids will be able to hunt, fish, and enjoy our wildlife.”
Ducks Unlimited supports this bill. Its president, Rogers Hoyt, says:
“For more than 30 years, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act has been a proven, cost-effective program for conserving our nation’s vital wetland and waterfowl habitat. The introduction of this bill is a strong first step to ensure the next generation of Americans, especially waterfowl hunters, have access to the same natural resources we enjoy today.”
This legislation passed the House Committee on Natural Resources by a 26-9 roll call vote with the support of 34 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 22 Democrats and 12 Republicans. Its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Martin Henrich (D-NM), has 39 bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including 20 Republicans, 18 Democrats, and one Independent.
Last Congress, this legislation was sponsored by Rep. Robert Wittman (R-VA) with the support of seven Democratic House cosponsors and didn’t receive a committee vote. There wasn’t a Senate companion in the 115th Congress.
Of Note: Congress passed NAWCA in 1989 to support the protection, restoration, and enhancement of waterfowl habitat as outlined in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). NAWMP was signed by the U.S. and Canada in 1986, and by Mexico in 1994, in response to broadly declining waterfowl populations. It provides grant funding for wetland conservation projects throughout all three countries.
In its committee report, the House Committee on Natural Resources observes that NAWCA is “one of the most cost-effective conservation programs,” with each federal dollar invested in it over the program’s lifetime being matched by more than three dollars from non-federal partners at the state and local level (these include corporations, private landowners, and nonprofits).
In total, nearly 3,000 NAWCA projects have contributed to the conservation and restoration of nearly 30 million acres of habitat across North America. The wetlands protected and conserved under NAWCA support ecological health and biodiversity and provide opportunities for Americans to bird-watch, hunt, fish, hike, farm, and ranch.
Conserving wetlands is important for flood containment, prevention of soil erosion, and water quality improvement.
- Sponsoring Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) Press Release
- Sponsoring Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) Floor Remarks
- House Committee on Natural Resources Committee Report
- Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Press Release
- CBO Cost Estimate
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) - North American Wetlands Conservation Act (Context)
Summary by Lorelei Yang(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / shaunl)