Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), senior members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, introduced legislation to reauthorize the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act which enables the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support conservation partners along migratory flyways throughout the Western Hemisphere. This is the only federal grant program that ensures the links in the full migratory chain have the conservation support they need. It promotes the long-term conservation, education, research, monitoring and habitat protection for more than 380 species of migratory birds along their full migratory pathway.

The legislation makes key improvements to the program, most notably lowering the required cost-sharing requirement for grant recipients from 3:1 to 2:1, which will make it more accessible to smaller organizations. The new legislation provides $6.5 million over five years. These and other strategic improvements will allow the program to better respond to the demonstrated need for funding and grow the local partner base.

 “As a Migratory Bird Conservation Co-Chair, protecting and improving migratory bird habitat is a priority for me. The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act will continue to build on the success we’ve seen from this program and provide certainty for vulnerable bird populations for generations to come,” said Boozman, a member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission.

“Neotropical migratory birds, like our beloved Baltimore Oriole, take tremendous journeys,” said Cardin, “Their migratory paths require ‘habitat anchors’ that the species have relied on for tens of thousands of years. The wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay watershed provide one such critical stopover for hundreds of species traveling along the Atlantic Flyway each year. However, it is just one of many habitats that link together the full migratory chain. The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act program supports habitat conservation along their entire flight path. It is a proven success story, and I am proud of the improvements this bill makes.” 

“At a time when we are losing billions of birds, the legislation led by Senators Cardin and Boozman is critical to ensuring the survival of migratory birds all along their hemispheric routes, and to help communities conserve their own natural landscapes," said Felice Stadler, vice president of government affairs, National Audubon Society. “We thank Senators Cardin and Boozman for their leadership in conserving migratory species, who delight 96 million birdwatching Americans every year.”

“Public-private partnerships are essential to effective conservation efforts in the U.S. and globally. I applaud Senator Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Cardin and International Conservation Caucus Co-Chair Senator Boozman on their leadership promoting sound policy solutions regarding migratory birds as well as resource management issues around the world,” said David Barron, Chairman, International Conservation Caucus Foundation.

“Projects funded through the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act help conserve vulnerable bird populations while strengthening our ecosystems across the Americas,” said Karen Waldrop, Ducks Unlimited Chief Conservation Officer. “From Canada to the Bahamas – and everywhere in between – migratory birds know no boundaries, and the habitat investments of this bipartisan program reflect that. We applaud Senators Cardin and Boozman for their leadership.”

Since 2002, the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act program has provided more than $89 million in grants to support 717 projects across five million acres of bird habitat in 43 countries. The federal dollars invested in this program are leveraged to spur significant private partner funding.