North American Wetlands Conservation Fund

To provide grant funds for wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Wetlands conservation projects funded by NAWCA acquire, restore and enhance wetlands and wetlands ecosystems.

Summaries of some funded projects are available on the website.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - Regional Office or Local Office For additional program information, see Appendix IV for addresses of USFWS Regional Offices.

Program Accomplishments

From September 1990 through September 2007, more than 3,547 partners have been involved in 1,697 Standard and Small Grant Programs' projects combined. More than $836.8 million in Act grants has leveraged some $1.6 billion in matching funds and $946 million in nonmatching funds to affect approximately 23.8 million acres of wetlands and associated uplands accross the continent.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds may be used to acquire real property interest in lands or waters, including water rights.

Funds may also be used to restore, manage, and/or enhance wetland ecosystems and other habitat for migratory birds and other fish and wildlife.

Projects must provide long-term conservation for wetlands-associated migratory birds and other wetlands-associated wildlife.

Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration act-derived funds eligible for NAWCA projects may be used only in U. S. coastal wetlands ecosystems.

More specific restrictions are outlined on the NAWCA grants information and instructions website.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Available to private or public organizations or to individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Available to any private or public organization or individual.



Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

A grant announcement and application instructions are published annually on and the FWS website (see below).

Prospective applicants may consult with staff on questions related to the details of match eligibility, project feasibility, overhead, cost levels, etc.

Associated materials and guidlines are posted on the FWS website and are available in printed form upon request.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Complete program information and application instruction can be found on the Division of Bird Habitat Conservation (DBHC) website, at, or can be accessed through Grant applications, including Standard Form 424 Application for Federal Assistance, are submitted directly to the Coordinator, North American Wetlands Conservation Council, Division of Habitat Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mail Stop MBSP 4075, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203; 703-358-1784.

Award Procedures

Applications are screened by the Coordinator's staff, and further reviewed and ranked by the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Council) Staff and North American Waterfowl Management Plan Joint Venture Coordinators. Site visits are conducted as needed. Grant proposals are recommended for approvalby the Council to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (Commission). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conductsa National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act review of theprojects that the Council selects to recommend to the Commission. The Council selects proposals in March, July, and December that are recommended to the Commission for final funding approval in September, March, and June respectively. The grant is administered by FWS DBHC.


U.S. Standard grants are due in March and July; specific proposal due dates are published on and on the NAWCA website.


North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Public Law 101-233, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 4401.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The range of time from proposal submission to the Commission meeting for standard grants is 7 to 11 months. Small grants approvals are usually known in 4 months.


None. Proposals not funded may be resubmitted.


Proposals are funded on a project-specific basis. Requests for future funding must complete with other requests for project funding. A grant agreement can be modified or extended at the discretion of the Division of Bird Habitat Conservation.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Proposals must have at least a 1:1 match of nonfederal U.S. dollars; although nonfederal dollars for Mexico proposals do not have to be U.S. dollars.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grant funds should be spent within the 1-2 year grant period, although the grant period can be extended for reasonable cause.

Post Assistance Requirements


Progress and final reports must be submitted in accordance with the terms and conditions of the grant agreement.

Final reports must be filed with the Division of Bird Habitat Conservation within 90 days of the end of the project termination date.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


The Recipient shall maintain a complete, detailed accounting system to report expenditures of grant funds and a detailed accounting of receipts and expenditures of nonfederal matching dollars or value of services. Records, accounts, and supporting documents must be retained for 3 years after submission for final request of reimbursement.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $67,079,040; FY 08 est $80,144,640; and FY 09 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range is $0 to $75,000 for Small Grants; over $75,000 to $1,000,000 for U.S. Standard Grants. Average award is approximately $42,000 and $710,000 for Small Grants and U.S. Standard Grants, respectively.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

U.S. Standard Grants Application Instructions; Small Grants Instructions; U.S. Grant Administration Standards; 43 CFR Part 12 and 49 CFR Part 24.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Regional Office or Local Office For additional program information, see Appendix IV for addresses of USFWS Regional Offices.

Headquarters Office

Headquarters Office Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 20240. Contact: Chief, Division of Bird Habitat Conservation, MBSP 4075, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22203. Telephone: (703) 358-1784.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The Council selects proposals based on factors given in Section 5 of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, results of site visits, available funds and other factors deemed important to meeting Act objectives. U.S. standard and small grant proposals are additionally evaluated against answers to Technical Assessment Questions taken from Section 5 of the Act and annually published on the web site in application instructions.

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