NAWCA 30th Resources

Below is a growing collection of NAWCA-related press releases, articles, and content (images and video), please feel free to utilize these in your or your organization's celebration of NAWCA's 30th Anniversary.

NAWCA Official Site

NAWCA page

To learn more about the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, be sure to check out the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official NAWCA page:

ARTICLE: Coastal Marsh Donated and Preserved

Created By
Gulf Coast Joint Venture
GCJV White Lake article

Matching federal funds support 19 wetlands conservation projects in Louisiana

By Jessica Shea


Driving into Gueydan, Louisiana the first thing a visitor notices is the town’s sign self-proclaiming it as the duck capital of America. The town’s population of 1,400 swells during the annual duck festival, complete with duck and goose calling contests and a duck festival queen. Though Gueydan is primarily supported through agriculture, specifically rice growing, waterfowl are important to the people, to say the least.

ARTICLE: Waterfowl Habitat Created from Former Catfish Farm

Created By
Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture
LMVJV Deviney Mgmt Area

Seasonally managed wetlands teem with birds in the Mississippi Delta

By Jessica Shea


Houston Havens grew up in Mississippi hunting and fishing near the state’s namesake river delta. “I knew early on that I wanted to be a wildlife biologist,” says Havens. During his studies he met mentors who helped narrow his focus to waterfowl biology. After five years as a waterfowl program coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Havens has recently completed one of the longest term and most significant projects of his career.

ARTICLE: Boreal Forest and Wetland Habitat Conserved in Canada

Created By
Prairie Habitat Joint Venture
PHJV Birch River

Park contributes to the world’s largest contiguous boreal protected land

By Jessica Shea


Canada’s boreal forest is one of the most significant on the planet, explains Larry Simpson of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The habitat is a matrix of wetlands and coniferous forest, home to a broad array of wildlife, including waterfowl, such as American wigeon, lesser scaup, green-winged teal, and mallards.

ARTICLE: Coastal Oregon Marsh Conserved for People and Wildlife

Created By
Pacific Birds Joint Venture
Botts Marsh Article

Land Trust conserved key habitat along Nehalem Bay

By Jessica Shea

Oregon’s northern coast, punctuated by small towns surrounded by nature, is largely undeveloped. When developers bought Botts Marsh, which was zoned for marina use, the Lower Nehalem Community Trust took action to conserve the area. The marsh is less than a mile south of the town of Wheeler (population 414) and is a popular place for people to kayak and nature-watch.

ARTICLE: Wetlands and Forests Managed with Controlled Burns

Created By
Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture
AMJV prescribed burn article

Despite being nicknamed the Garden State, New Jersey is not generally renowned for its natural spaces. Sandwiched between New York City and Philadelphia, New Jersey is slated to become the first state to reach complete build out, anticipated by 2050. This means the use of every acre in NJ will be accounted for, ranging from protected farmland and natural spaces to residential, commercial, and industrial development. Currently, about 40 percent of land cover is forests. 

ARTICLE: Hundreds of Acres of Prairie Pothole Wetlands Conserved

Created By
Prairie Habitat Joint Venture
Searer Family Article

Waterfowl-dense habitat preserved in Manitoba, Canada

By Jessica Shea

Early one warm June morning Curtis Hullick took a walk on land owned by the Shearer family in Manitoba, Canada. The morning was still, apart from the sounds of birds. 

“I heard grassland birds, like bobolink and Sprague's pipit, and a lot of waterfowl, like blue-winged teal and mallard,” says Hullick of that June morning in 2018. “Hearing the sounds of so many birds against the backdrop of a quiet morning made me realize the specialness of the land.”

ARTICLE: Connection to Nature Inspires Conservation

Created By
Eastern Habitat Joint Venture
EHJV Connection article

Wetlands protected in southern Quebec

By Jessica Shea

“Listen to the loons,” my grandmother whispered to me on a still summer morning on the front porch of our cottage in south-western Quebec. The lake and my cousins were still asleep. Only my grandmother, the loons, and I saw the morning’s mist. The black and white water birds made their slow morning patrol of the lake, no siren necessary, just their legendary call.

ARTICLE: Wetlands at Columbia River Headwaters Protected

Created By
Canadian Intermountain Joint Venture
CI JV Article

Conservation partners worked together to conserve critical site on the Pacific Flyway

By Jessica Shea


Visiting the eastern shoreline of Columbia Lake in British Columbia is a special experience, according to the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Hillary Page. After walking along the lakeshore’s wetland, you’ll pass through an old-growth Douglas fir forest, which opens up into a fallow hay field. From there, you look south to the headlands of the Columbia River or north to hoodoos, ancient exposed bluffs of sandstone created by erosion.

AFWA Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act

Created By
AFWA Press Release

December 10, 2019

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA). This act provides financial support for waterfowl habitat that also supports a multitude of other wetland-related wildlife species. The NAWCA program is recognized as one of the premiere conservation programs in the world because the successful collaborative partnerships between the state fish and wildlife agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, non-governmental organizations, and other partners are key to implementing priority wetland conservation projects. 

ARTICLE: The Missouri Coteau’s Present Is Even Wilder Than It’s Past

Created By
Prairie Habitat Joint Venture
MO Coteau article

Thousands of acres of wetlands conserved in southern Saskatchewan

By Jessica Shea


Southern Saskatchewan’s Missouri Coteau is a land so rugged that fugitives, horse thieves, and rum runners went there to evade the law during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Nowadays, the area is free of outlaws but teeming with birds and other wildlife.

ARTICLE: Rare Birds’ Wetland Habitat Restored

Created By
Appalachian Mountain Joint Venture
Rare Birds Article
Only the most discerning birders’ ears can suss out the rare golden-winged warblers’ song while walking in the wetlands of Harriman and Sterling Forest State Parks in New York. Golden-winged warblers and their elusive melody were in danger of disappearing from their southern New York State breeding grounds. Habitat enhancement, funded in part by a grant through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, is helping to ensure the species’ continued success.

ARTICLE: Waterfowl Phenomenon Sparks Passion for Wetlands on Alaskan Peninsula

PBJV article
A NAWCA funded project preserves 70,000 additional acres of Izembek National Wildlife Refuge Complex “I thought I saw a swirling cloud of smoke in the distance the first time I visited Izembek National Wildlife Refuge,” says Brad Meiklejohn, Alaska state director for The Conservation Fund. “I lifted my binoculars and realized it was thousands of birds.” As the gyrating mass of birds approached, their beating wings sounded like an impending storm. Meiklejohn wondered, for a moment, if he would be sucked up into the tornado of birds like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. “To see tens of thousands of birds, it felt like something primordial that I thought had vanished from the planet,” Meiklejohn says. Meiklejohn moved to Alaska from New Hampshire in the early 90’s because he wanted to live someplace unspoiled, a place where salmon still swim in rivers and bears still roam. Though the bird encounter happened nearly 30 years ago, it remains one of the most powerful experiences of Meiklejohn’s life and became the catalyst for a decade of work leading to the preservation of 70,000 additional acres of Izembek. Few places on earth are as alive with animals as Izembek National Wildlife Refuge Complex on the Alaskan peninsula. From caribou and brown bears to salmon and gray whales, Izembek teems with animals, not only in the air but on land and in water.

ARTICLE: Wetlands Restored at the Confluence of America’s Mightiest Rivers

Confluence Article
Raised on a farm in Central Missouri, Mark Flaspohler grew up exploring the big river floodplains. Flaspohler comes from a long line of conservationists and hunters; he began the family tradition of duck hunting at 10 years old. Through hunting and spending time in nature, Flaspohler developed a love of the land that as an adult led him to his job of 14 years as a biologist with Ducks Unlimited. Flaspohler and partners have shepherded a series of grants from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to protect, restore, and enhance thousands of acres of wetlands in the Confluence Region of eastern Missouri. The Confluence Region is the area surrounding the merging point of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. The region often floods in the spring due to snowmelt and significant rainfall upstream. This cyclical flooding has created the lush wetlands that have attracted millions of birds a year for centuries. More than 250 species of waterfowl, waterbirds, and neotropical songbirds migrate through or use Confluence wetlands, Flaspohler says. The area teems with such an abundance of life that upon traversing the area in 1721, French explorer Father Pierre François de Charlevoix wrote: “I believe this is the finest confluence in the world.” The cultural, historical, and recreational significance of the Confluence dates back centuries. However, in recent decades the area has lost 90 percent of its wetland habitats. Two challenges facing wetlands in the Big River Confluence Region are floodplain development and converting land to other uses. Floodplain development alters the ecosystem of the area. The sprawling urban population of St. Louis has been using the floodplain as an expansion zone for factories, homes, airports, and shopping malls. “Infrastructure built in this area needs levy systems to protect it when the water level increases during spring floods,” Flaspohler explains. “These levy systems cut off the natural flow of highwater events from their natural floodplains and adjacent wetlands.”

ARTICLE: Prairie Pothole Conservation Protects Unique Waterfowl Habitat

Bushfield Easement
The Lamb/Bushfield family placed a conservation easement on their Saskatchewan land to preserve their wetlands forever Richard McBride grew up on the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada. Working for Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) for the past 24 years, McBride has developed an intimate understanding of the prairie pothole wetlands and the waterfowl that nest there. McBride led a project to secure the Lamb/Bushfield conservation easement—one of the largest ever in Canada’s Prairie Provinces—funded in part by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. Thousands of years ago when glaciers receded over modern day central Canada, they dropped ground up rocks. When the land settled after glaciation, there was unevenness in the landscape, which caused deep depressions. These depressions became wetland potholes on the prairie. The basins range in size from a fraction of an acre to several acres, and they fill with water from snow melt every year. The abundance and scattered distribution of the potholes makes them ideal for waterfowl nesting. Biologists estimate that there are 40 to 60 breeding pairs per square mile (2.5 square kilometers). Because of the high density of waterfowl, the soundscape of the prairie pothole wetlands near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan changes with the seasons, explains McBride. In spring, the air hums with millions of insects as flocks of waterfowl return from their southern wintering grounds to gorge on the bugs. After the birds have refueled, the prairie song comes alive with the quacks, whistles, burrs, and grunts of their mating calls.

ARTICLE: Centenarian Conservationist Helped Protect Bay of Fundy Wetlands

Created By
Eastern Habitat Joint Venture
The Musquash Estuary
Lifelong love of nature led to wetland conservation in New Brunswick, Canada “I wouldn’t want to live in the city because I’m too free a creature,” said Mabel Fitz-Randolph in an interview with the Nature Conservancy of Canada in 2010. At 97, the nature-loving New Brunswick native had been a lifelong resident of the Musquash Estuary on the Bay of Fundy. Fitz-Randolph passed in 2013, at 100 years old, leaving behind a legacy of conservation work. For ten years, Fitz-Randolph helped campaign the Canadian government to designate a marine protected area in the Bay of Fundy; the area was designated in 2006. Three years later the centenarian entrusted 739 acres of land to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Fitz-Randolph’s daughter and grandson donated another 80-acre parcel of the family's land in 2016.

Support NAWCA!

Created By
Conservation Federation of Missouri
CFM Take Action Now

The North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act (H.R. 925) will be on the House floor for a vote. This program has been an important part of wetland restoration and development in Missouri. Please let your representative know that you support reauthorization of NAWCA and how important it is for wetlands and birds in Missouri. When you are birding or hunting at one of Missouri’s managed wetland areas, chances are good that the birds you see have benefited from one of the NAWCA projects that have taken place on MDC or FWS lands.

2019 AFWA Resolution

Created By
2019 AFWA Resolutions

RESOLUTION #2019-02-10: Recognizing the 30th Anniversary of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act has helped conservation organizations, private landowners, and government agencies to restore, protect and enhance wetlands and their associated uplands since 1989. This voluntary, non-regulatory program has engaged with more than 6,200 conservation organizations and private landowners who have conserved 30.3 million acres in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Thompson and Wittman Announce Reintroduction of North American Wetlands Conservation Act

Created By
U.S. Congress
Rep. Mike Thompson

Jan 30, 2019

Press Release

Bill helps to fund conservation projects at wetlands across our nation

Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) and Rep. Rob Wittman (VA-01) announced the bipartisan and bicameral reintroduction of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), a bill that authorizes $60 million per year for wetlands conservation from 2020 to 2024. A bipartisan companion bill was also introduced in the Senate by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), John Kennedy (R-LA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Tom Carper (D-DE).