North American Wetlands Conservation Fund


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

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of The Interior
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2017 Program received 163 applications and anticipates issuing 100 awards. Program received 156 applications and issued 94 awards
Fiscal Year 2018 Program received 145 applications and issued 98 awards.
Fiscal Year 2019 Program anticipates receiving 150 applications and issuing approximately 100 awards.
Fiscal Year 2020 Program anticipates receiving 150 applications and issuing approximately 85 awards.
North American Wetlands Conservation Act, 16 U.S.C. §4401 et seq.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
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.
Not applicable.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. 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, and the appropriate Assurance forms (SF 424C or SF 424D) are submitted through
Award Procedure
Applications are screened by Fish and Wildlife Service 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 approval by the Council to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (Commission). The Council selects proposals in June and December that are recommended to the Commission for final funding approval in September and March. The grant is administered by FWS Division of Bird Habitat Conservation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts a National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act review of the projects that the Council selects to recommend to the Commission.
U.S. Standard grant proposals are due February 22, 2019 and July 3, 2019. Mexico grant proposals are due by June 24, 2019. Canada grant proposals are due by August 23, 2019. U.S. Small grant proposals are due by October 17, 2019.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
The range of time from proposal submission to the approval/disapproval notification is 7 to 10 months
Not applicable.
Proposals are funded on a project-specific basis. Requests for future funding must compete with other requests for project funding. A grant agreement can be modified or extended at the discretion of the Division of Bird Habitat Conservation.
How are proposals selected?
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.
How may assistance be used?
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. For further information, please contact the headquarters office.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Performance reports are required. Recipients must monitor and report on project performance in accordance with the requirements in 2 CFR 200.328. A final performance report is due within 90 calendar days of the award period of performance end date, unless the awarding program approves a due date extension. The FWS details all reporting requirements including frequency and due dates in Notices of Award.
Not applicable.
The Recipient shall maintain a complete, detailed accounting system to report expenditures of grant funds and a detailed accounting of receipts and expenditures of non-Federal matching dollars or value of services. Records, accounts, and supporting documents must be retained for 3 years after submission of final report.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is voluntary. The required matching share varies on a grant-by-grant basis and is set forth in the grant award, but must be at least 50 percent of the project costs, except that the project activities located on Federal lands and waters can be funded with 100 percent Federal funding.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants are awarded after the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC) approves projects selected by the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (NAWCC), and after authorized funds have been made available to the FWS Migratory Birds Program. Projects are awarded for 2-3 year terms, upon which time all funds must be spent or returned to FWS. Program obligates funds and sends a notice of award to successful applicants. Recipients request funds in accordance with 2 CFR 200, Subpart E-Cost Principles, unless otherwise dictated by program-specific legislation or special award terms. Program will include any special payment terms and conditions in the notice of award.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Migratory Birds Program, Division of Bird Habitat Conservation, 5275 Leesburg Pike MS:MB
Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 US
Phone: (703) 358-1784
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 18$65,000,000.00; FY 19 est $85,000,000.00; FY 20 est $70,000,000.00; FY 17$64,020,000.00; -
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 Grant Instructions; Mexico Standard Grants Application Instructions provided in English and Spanish; Canada Standard Grants Application Instructions; U.S. Grant Administration Standards; 2 CFR 200.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2017 Example of US Standard Grant project, “Southwest Wetlands Initiative of Minnesota (SWIM) III.” SWIM III provides an efficient and effective partnership to deliver long term wetlands and wetland-associated upland habitat for the benefit of waterfowl and other wildlife. This proposal focuses on wetlands in the Prairie Coteau of Minnesota and works primarily on restoring converted wetlands and enhancing degraded wetlands through permanent habitat protection efforts on both public and private lands. This is the third proposal of a multiple year initiative with an overall goal to accelerate the permanent protection of prairie wetland complexes open to the public and to ensure every Waterfowl Production Area and Wildlife Management Area is providing the maximum benefits for waterfowl and wetland dependent species. More specifically, SWIM III accelerates efforts to permanently protect in fee title and easement 690-acres of Waterfowl Production Areas and Wildlife Management Areas and 61.9-acres via Re-Invest in Minnesota perpetual conservation easement. Further, this partnership restores 40-acres on Hurricane Lake WMA and enhances another 270-acres of wetland habitat on Chen Bay and Sioux Valley WMAs. Projects within this proposal will address both reproductive and migration habitat needs of waterfowl and wetland dependent species within the area. The project area and project components are important to successful implementation of the NAWMP and the PPJV Implementation Plan. Several stateside conservation plans are served by the work outlined in this proposal as well, including the Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan and Minnesota's duck and pheasant plans.
Fiscal Year 2018 Example of Mexico Grant project: “Integrated Conservation Activities in the Sayula Lagoon Watershed.” This project will protect wetlands through a sustainable management agreement; restore some of the seasonal wetlands in the protected area; and rehabilitate two artificial wetlands. It will also conduct environmental education in surrounding communities; install ecological dry toilets; sign a conservation agreement with a state agency; and sign an infrastructure maintenance agreement with local municipalities.
Fiscal Year 2019 Example of Small Grant project selected but not yet funded: “Samish Islands Wetlands I.” Activities proposed within this project include the purchase, restoration, and enhancement of 35-acres of wildlife habitat. The property is made up of mature forest, wetlands, and marine shoreline adjacent to Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Regional and state studies recommend conservation and restoration of this land.
Fiscal Year 2020 Program has not yet selected projects for funding. Program anticipates funding projects that protect and improve habitat for migratory birds and other wetland-associated species. More examples of NAWCA projects can be found at