Federal Bill will Dedicate Wildlife Conservation Funding to Protect Great Lakes Birds like the Kirtland’s Warbler and Black Tern

Marnie Urso, Audubon Great Lakes Statement on Reintroduction of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

MICHIGAN (April 22, 2021) – Today, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) reintroduced the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA), alongside Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and a broad group of bipartisan supporters. The bill will dedicate $1.3 billion for states and territories and $97.5 million to tribal nations annually for proactive, on-the-ground conservation projects for the benefit of birds and other wildlife.

Marnie Urso, Senior Policy Director for Audubon Great Lakes issued the following statement in response to the reintroduction of RAWA.

“We need a bold initiative to address the crisis facing birds. Audubon’s science shows that more than half of Michigan’s birds are vulnerable to the threats posed by climate change. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will provide consistent, reliable funding to protect and restore the vital habitat that birds and other wildlife need in Michigan, the Great Lakes region and beyond.

The Black Tern, a Michigan Species of Special Concern, has faced population declines up to 80 percent since 1970. RAWA could help enhance the wetland habitat they rely on to protect these graceful Great Lakes waterbirds. Another species, the Kirtland’s Warbler was just recently delisted from the Endangered Species Act after recovery efforts helped their population increase from only 150 pairs to more than 2,5000 pairs. This bill could help in the effort to ensure sufficient on the ground funding so that Kirtland Warbler’s populations continue to grow.

Investing in conservation work is good for wildlife and people. RAWA will help recover wildlife, improving our natural spaces, and create jobs right here in Michigan and across the Great Lakes region. It is estimated that RAWA will create over 30,000 jobs and generate over $93 billion in total economic activity.

Audubon Great Lakes thanks Rep. Dingell for her leadership in recognizing the importance of wildlife conservation funding to birds. By ensuring states receive funding to implement State Wildlife Action Plans, we can create successful solutions to conserving and recovering bird species in greatest need.”

About Audubon Great Lakes
Audubon Great Lakes is a regional office of Audubon, learn more at and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

The 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.

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