NAWCA – North American Wetlands Conservation Act Grants Program
What is NAWCA?
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act Grant Program, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, supports local efforts to conserve wetland habitats for migratory birds and other wildlife. It provides matching grants to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico that directly protect, restore, and/or enhance wetlands and associated uplands habitats.
The Standard Grants Program provides project funds of up to $1,000,000. Standard grants have a rigorous application process and applicants should start well ahead of the two annual application deadlines. The Small Grants Program provides project funds up to $100,000. It has a strong emphasis on new partnerships and, when appropriate, may be used as a stepping stone to a Standard NAWCA. Both grant programs have a minimum match requirement of 1:1 federal to non-federal funds.
NAWCA conservation partnerships have conserved 33.4 million acres of habitat across North America. Contact a Pacific Birds Partnership Coordinator to help determine if a potential project aligns with Joint Venture and other bird initiative priorities.
Greater Scaup is a high priority species in the NAWCA grants program. See the full list of NAWCA priority species within Pacific Birds.
Is NAWCA a good fit for your project?
To determine if you have a competitive NAWCA project, start with the following questions. Pacific Birds staff should be contacted early in the application process to see if your project aligns with Joint Venture priorities. Staff can also assist with the technical aspects of the application and may be able to help you find partners or match funds.
⇒ Are there wetlands that are in need of protection, restoration or enhancement? Are there habitat benefits to birds, especially NAWCA priority species?
⇒ Does the project area have habitat that supports federally endangered species, or species of greatest need from the relevant State Wildlife Action Plan?
⇒ Do you have project partners and is there a lead partner with the capacity to be the grantee?
⇒ Are there matching, non-federal project funds?
⇒ Do you have enough lead time to provide the requested technical, administrative and partnership information?
Waterfowl, waterbirds, shorebirds and landbirds all benefit from the long-term protection of wetlands and associated uplands.
Photo – George Gentry, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Resources for Applicants
How to Apply for a NAWCA Grant
U.S. Standard Grants Program
Canada Standard Grants Program
NAWCA Small Grants Program
U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Bird Habitat Conservation, Grants Handbook
Pacific Birds – Priority NAWCA Species
National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) Website
Federally Endangered Species, U.S.
Teaming with Wildlife: Species of Greatest Conservation Need, State Wildlife Action Plans
Skagit Land Trust received a Small NAWCA in 2016 to protect high-value wetlands within the Nookachamps Watershed in Washington. See the story.
Aleutian Tern populations have precipitously declined. They are a priority NAWCA species within several of Pacific Birds’ Bird Conservation Regions.
Photo – Gregory Smith © Creative Commons