North American Wetlands Conservation Act
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) of 1989 was passed, in part, to support activities associated with implementation of objectives under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The scope of NAWCA has since been expanded to include the conservation of all birds and habitats associated with wetland ecosystems. Funds from NAWCA are used to acquire, restore, or enhance wetland and associated upland habitats in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
A key guiding principle of the NAWCA program is to accomplish program objectives through partnerships – as such, NAWCA funds must be matched by non-federal partners at least a 1:1 ratio. This formula has been highly successful; as of 2010, the NAWCA program has leveraged over $1.08 billion in NAWCA funds with $2.24 billion in partner contributions to affect 25.9 million acres of habitat. The NAWCA grants program is administered by the Division of Bird Habitat Conservation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and there are typically three NAWCA proposal cycles per year – two “Standard” grant cycles, which are for larger projects with an up to $1 million funding request, and one “Small” grant cycle, for projects with smaller scopes that have up to a $100,000 funding request. While criteria and match requirements are the same as a NAWCA Standard Grant, the Small Grants program is often a good fit for new NAWCA applicants, as funding priority is given to partners new to the NAWCA grant program.
For more information, such as how to apply and application deadlines, visit the NAWCA website.