U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today announced his support for legislation to reauthorize the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), which leverages federal funds with private resources to promote fish and wildlife conservation.
Cochran is cosponsoring the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Establishment Act (S.51), which would reauthorize a program created by Congress in 1984 to promote greater private investment in fish, wildlife and habitat conservation. The Mississippi Senator cosponsored similar legislation (S.1494) in the 112th Congress.
"The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation effectively uses seed money to attract private-sector funding to implement conservation projects all over the country, including Mississippi," Cochran said. "This legislation is intended to reauthorize and improve those efforts."
Over the course of nearly 30 years, the NFWF has leveraged more than $570 million in federal funds into $2.0 billion for conservation through nearly 12,000 grants, including scores of projects in Southern states and the Gulf of Mexico. The Foundation is currently working with 14 federal agencies and more than 50 corporations, foundations and other private organizations to coordinate and leverage funds for conservation projects through competitive grant programs.
The NFWF-backed grants have supported projects to promote avian research and conservation, as well as longleaf pine forest restoration and other habitat protection in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia. It has also been active in supporting conservation activities following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Establishment Act would, in part, clarify the foundation's authority regarding the receipt of nonfederal resources to further the conservation and management of fish, wildlife, plants and other natural resources.
S.51 has been referred to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which cleared last year's bill for consideration by the full Senate. However, that endeavor was halted with the end of the 112th Congress.