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House Committee Advances Migratory Bird Conservation Bill

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WASHINGTON (March 12, 2024) – The House Natural Resources Committee advanced a bipartisan bill that would reauthorize and enhance a program that provides funding throughout the Americas for migratory bird habitat. The Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act would authorize critical funding for the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) program at a time when our nation’s migratory bird populations are in significant decline and in need of more concerted conservation efforts.

The legislation was co-sponsored by Representatives María Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Dave Joyce (R-OH), and Mary Peltola (D-AK).

“Migratory birds are enjoyed by millions of people each year and play key roles in ecosystems at every stage of their migration route, which can sometimes span thousands of miles across continents,” said Jesse Walls, senior director of government affairs at the National Audubon Society. “To conserve these species, we need to invest in habitats all along these routes. The  legislation that passed out of committee is a step forward to help communities and partners come together to help meet the many challenges facing these birds.”

Since 2002, the NMBCA has funded more than 700 projects in 35 countries, conserving 350 species. The legislation advanced today would improve its accessibility for partners by amending the cost-share requirements from a 3:1 match to 2:1. This change will help remove barriers to participation in the program and enhance its impact by catalyzing additional collaborative and community-based projects. In addition to playing a key role in ecosystems, a recent Fish and Wildlife Survey found that 96 million people engage in birdwatching every year, creating a $100 billion industry in the U.S.

“We have 3 billion fewer birds in the world now than we did in 1970, so the enhancements to programs like this one are critical,” said Walls. “Investing in bird habitats across the hemisphere makes both ecological and economic sense. We urge the full House to pass this bill as soon as possible.”

About AudubonThe National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.

Media contact: Robyn Shepherd, [email protected] 

 

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