May 25, 2022

Van Hollen, Cardin Announce $1 Million to Support Conservation Efforts

Funding will help conserve or restore hundreds of acres of wetland across Maryland

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) announced $1,000,000 to help preserve and restore hundreds of acres of declining wetland habitats across Maryland’s Eastern Shore, as well as in Delaware and Virginia. This Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funding for the Delmarva Oasis project is administered through the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission and was authorized by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). The funds will be directed to Ducks Unlimited in partnership with Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and Lower Shore Land Trust in Maryland, among others in Delaware and Virginia. The Delmarva Oasis project funding will help conserve bird populations and wetland habitats while supporting local economies and outdoor recreational opportunities, such as hunting, fishing, and birdwatching.

“Our wetlands are at great risk of erosion. That’s why I’ve fought to secure federal investments through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to help save our wetlands and conserve our wildlife populations through collaborative conservation efforts with key on-the-ground partners. This investment will not only support the health of our environment but also our local economy, recreation, and tourism,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“Maryland’s wetlands on the Eastern Shore provide vital shelter and habitat for various species of wildlife, especially migratory birds. As we grapple with sea level rise and the other harmful effects of climate change, this new funding will sustain healthy populations of iconic birds and preserve biodiversity, in turn, contributing to our local recreation and tourism industries,” said Senator Cardin. 

Wetlands provide many economic, ecological, and social benefits to species and the surrounding communities. They are also important protections from the effects of climate change such as flooding and rising seas. Partners in NAWCA projects include private landowners, states, local governments, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups, Tribes, land trusts, and corporations. As of 2021, Maryland had 26 NAWCA state projects either completed or underway. These projects have conserved 58,371 acres of wildlife habitat. In addition, Maryland has four NAWCA multi-state projects to restore habitat throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. These projects have conserved 45,934 acres of wildlife habitat.