WASHINGTON - Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA-1) and Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA-5) today introduced legislation critical for wetlands conservation efforts. The bill would reauthorize funding for the popular North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) for five years until 2022.
"Washington should be doing more to identify those federal programs that have proven successful," said Wittman. “NAWCA is certainly one of these programs, having leveraged more than $3 billion in matching funds from conservation partners since its enactment in 1989. Protecting, restoring, and managing wetland habitat is a productive endeavor, and it is critical that we invest efficiently to conserve our natural areas for the use and enjoyment of future generations.”
“The North American Wetlands Conservation Act works and Congress should make sure it gets the funds it needs to remain successful,” said Thompson. “It allows us to preserve important wetlands, protect wildlife and habitat, and conserve natural treasures for our kids and grandkids to enjoy. I look forward to working with Congressman Wittman to pass this bipartisan bill so the NAWCA can remain strong for years to come.”
Since NAWCA’s enactment in 1989, conservation partners, from small landowners to large corporations, have leveraged the federal share of NAWCA with over $3.44 billion in partner funds. Over 4,400 corporate, small business, non-profit, state and local entities have tripled NAWCA dollars with matching funds with an average partner match of 3:1. From 1990 to 2010, the program has assisted in funding 2,038 wetland conservation projects in all 50 states, Canada, and Mexico, affecting over 26 million acres of essential wildlife habitat.
Rep. Wittman has long been a champion of increased conservation and stewardship of our land, water and wildlife. Prior to serving in Congress, Rep. Wittman spent more than two decades as a shellfish specialist monitoring water quality and environmental health issues in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. He is the co-chairman of the Congressional Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus.
Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.