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
Agency: Department of the Interior
Office: Fish and Wildlife Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants (Discretionary)
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: Program improved over 380,000 acres of habitat for the benefit of migratory birds and other species. The program received 190 applications and issued 113 awards. Fiscal Year 2015: Program received 180 applications and anticipates issuing 125 awards. Fiscal Year 2016: Program anticipates receiving 200 applications and issuing 130 awards.
North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Public Law 101-233, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 4401.
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.
No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
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.
Jul 08, 2015: U.S. Standard Grants. 2015 deadlines are: U.S. Standard grants - February 27 & July 7, Mexico grants - June 1, Canada grants - August 5, and Small grants - November 5.
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. 100%.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Final reports must be filed with the Division of Bird Habitat Conservation within 90 days of the end of the project expiration or termination date. Quarterly financial reports are required for recipients opting to receive grant funds in advance of expenditure. Recipients must submit a final performance report no later than 90 calendar days after the award end date. Recipients of awards with performance periods longer than 12 months will be required to submit interim reports. Program may require recipients to submit interim reports annually, semiannually, or quarterly. Program will detail all performance reporting requirements, including frequency and due dates, in the notice of award letter. Recipients must report expenditures using the SF 425, Federal Financial Report form. Recipients must submit a final report no later than 90 calendar days after the award end date. Recipients of awards with performance periods longer than 12 months will be required to submit interim reports. Program may require recipients to submit interim reports annually, semiannually, or quarterly. Program will detail all financial reporting requirements, including frequency and due dates, in the notice of award letter. Recipients are responsible for monitoring and reporting performance each award and sub-award under this program in accordance with 43 CFR Part 12 and 2 CFR Part 170.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
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
This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: 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 program.
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. All grants issued to non-Federal U.S. entities are paid through the Department of Treasury’s Automated Standard Application for Payments System. Funds provided directly to a Federal entity by FWS are governed by a separate agreement between FWS and the recipient Federal entity. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Program obligates funds and sends a notice of award to successful applicants. Recipients request funds in accordance with 43 CFR Part 12, 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
See Regional Agency Offices. Regional Office or local Joint Venture Office for additional program information, see Appendix IV and website for addresses of USFWS Regional Offices and local Joint Venture Offices.
Headquarters Office
Chief, Chief, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington D.C. 20240. Division of Bird Habitat Conservation, MS: MB, 5275 Leesburg Pike, , Falls Church, Virginia 22041-3803 Phone: (703) 358-1784.
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 14 $52,515,159; FY 15 est $57,000,000; and FY 16 est $60,000,000 - Project Grants (Discretionary): FY14 $52,515,159; FY15 est $57,000,000; FY16 est $60,000,000. FY15 and FY16 amounts are estimates based on prior year funding levels only.
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 2014: Example of US Standard grant project, ‘’Glaciated Wetlands and Prairies of ND and MN IV’’- This is phase four of a project designed to protect wetland and grassland communities using a landscape-level approach to planning. It is also the third project to span the borders of North Dakota and Minnesota in the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture to protect critical habitat for migratory birds. Through this project, 3,456 acres of native grassland and 594 acres of wetland habitat will be secured by perpetual easements resulting in significant benefits for grassland birds. Protection of native prairie surrounding the important prairie wetland habitats in the project area will: 1) provide nesting habitat for waterfowl and other species, and 2) minimize the influx of sediments, herbicides and pesticides into these wetlands. Example of Small grant project, ‘’Humboldt Bay Spartina Eradication’’- Tidal marshes in the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge are being dominated by invasive Spartina, a noxious weed that degrades the habitat quality and makes it difficult for native salt marsh plants to grow. This project will restore 40 acres of marshes by eradicating the invasive Spartina plants and by continuing to maintain the area for native plant communities. The wetlands surrounding Humboldt Bay, California’s second largest natural bay, host more than 260 bird species including 39 shorebird species and 26 raptor species that rely on the bay as they travel the Pacific Flyway. Fiscal Year 2015: Example of US Standard Grant project, ‘’Central Flyway Migration Corridor’’- This effort brings together an extensive list of partners to achieve diverse wetland conservation results at a landscape scale. The grantee will conserve 4,279 acres and enhance 840 acres of the conserved land. The project will permanently protect 382 acres of wetlands, much of which will be added to the Talmo Marsh Wildlife Management Area. Conducting 15 individual projects to restore and enhance wetland habitat conditions, the grantee will also plant new vegetation to support foraging birds during spring migration. Mallard, pintail, and White-Fronted Goose populations greatly depend on these habitats in the Rainwater Basin, as do shorebirds. Fiscal Year 2016: 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