In a White House ceremony yesterday, President Bush signed a bill to reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), an important conservation program.
NAWCA provides challenge grants for wetland conservation projects across North America. Through the Act, groups such as Ducks Unlimited the world's largest wetlands and waterfowl conservation organization match every dollar of federal money with at least one dollar or more from non-federal sources. The result of this partnering provides twice as many dollars for projects, with some projects generating an additional three to four dollars for every federal dollar.
Since it was first enacted in 1989, NAWCA has helped fund more than 960 wetland conservation projects in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, and Mexico. Nearly nine million acres of critical wildlife habitat have been restored and protected through NAWCA.
Upon signing the Act, President Bush said, "Today, we're taking important action to conserve North America's wetlands, which will help keep our water clean and help provide habitat for hundreds of species of wildlife. Through this legislation, the federal government will continue its partnership with landowners, conservation groups, and states to save and improve millions of acres of wetlands."
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