Senate passes Kennedy, Heinrich bill to reauthorize funding to preserve Louisiana’s wetlands

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Robert “Bob” Eugene Brierre
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Robert “Bob” Eugene Brierre
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WASHINGTON – The Senate passed Sens. John Kennedy and Martin Heinrich’s (D-N.M.) North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) as part of the America’s Conservation Enhancement Reauthorization Act of 2024. The NAWCA would reauthorize $65 million in funding annually for five years to protect America’s wetlands.

“Renewing the North American Wetlands Conservation Act is critical to preserving Louisiana’s outdoorsman culture, unique wildlife and natural environment. The House should move quickly to send this important bill to the president’s desk,” said Kennedy.

“Our bipartisan legislation will bolster our nation’s most successful public-private conservation partnership, and I’m thrilled that it has now passed the Senate. Our legislation will improve access to clean drinking water, invest in our thriving multi-billion-dollar outdoor recreation economy, and conserve New Mexico’s wildlife and the habitats they depend on for future generations. The House should take up this important legislation and send it to President Biden’s desk,” said Heinrich.


Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) cosponsored the legislation.

 

Background:

  • Congress first passed the NAWCA in 1989 to provide federal cost-share funding to projects that conserve North America’s waterfowl, fish and wildlife resources.
  • NAWCA funding helps support activities such as hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and photography across all states.
  • NAWCA funding generates an average of two additional dollars for every federal dollar. Over the program’s history, federal grants totaling more than $2.1 billion have spurred $4.3 billion for NAWCA projects through matching and non-matching funds.
  • NAWCA funding also supports an average of 7,500 jobs each year and more than $5 billion in annual economic activity.