U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, announced the passage of the bipartisan North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act (NAWCA) through the EPW Committee.
NAWCA will reauthorize the program to protect and restore wetlands in all 50 states through 2017. Authorization for the program expired at the end of fiscal year 2012.
“Louisiana, the sportsman’s paradise, is home to many of our nation’s cherished wetlands, and this bill helps protect and restore wetlands across the country,” Vitter said. “Wildlife-related recreation actually generates billions of dollars of economic output each year, and reauthorization would allow folks across the country to continue protecting and enjoying one of nature’s treasures. Plus, it’s a great deal for the taxpayers – more than $3 of private funding for every $1 of federal funding.”
NAWCA requires that for every federal dollar put into the program, it must be matched by at least one dollar in nonfederal funds. Due to the highly competitive grant process, each federal dollar is matched $3.20 on average. The program incentivizes non-federal contributions to wetland wildlife habitats on a voluntary basis for private landowners.
The bipartisan legislation is being cosponsored by EPW Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and 13 other U.S. Senators.
Press Release, February 7, 2014