North American Wetlands Conservation Act

North American Wetlands Conservation Act

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act of 1989 (NAWCA) provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for the benefit of waterfowl and other wetland-dependent migratory birds.

Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, grants are available to nonprofit organizations, state and local agencies, tribes, and private individuals. Two types of grants are awarded; 

  • Standard grants for up to $1 million; and
  • Small grants for up to $75,000.

Both are competitive grants programs and require that grant requests be matched by partner contributions at no less than a 1:1 ratio -- although the average match of successful proposals is over 2:1.Funds from other federal sources may contribute towards a project, but are not eligible as match.

The Standard Grants Program supports projects in Canada, the United States, and Mexico that involve long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats. 

The Small Grants Program operates only in the United States; it supports the same type of projects and adheres to the same selection criteria and administrative guidelines as the U.S. Standard Grants Program. However, project activities are usually smaller in scope and involve fewer project dollars. Grant requests may not exceed $75,000, and funding priority is given to grantees or partners new to the Act’s Grants Program.

Learn more about the program from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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