June 18, 2009

CARDIN BILL TO PROTECT THE BALTIMORE ORIOLE AND OTHER MIGRATORY BIRDS PASSES SENATE COMMITTEE

Washington, DC - The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), today approved legislation authored by U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) that would amend the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act to increase funding for FY2010 and reauthorize the Act for the next five years.

 

"Maryland's natural treasure, our environment, is a lure for millions of human tourists and avian visitors each year. Across the country, bird watchers include over 48 million Americans. For nearly a decade, federal investment in habitat protection, education, research and monitoring of neotropical migratory birds has been vital to the well-being of our ecosystem and our economy," said Senator Cardin, Chairman of the EPW Water and Wildlife Subcommittee.

 

"This legislation provides an important ecological benefit, enhances our relationship with Western Hemisphere nations, and boosts the economy.   Neotropical migratory birds breed in Canada and the United States during our summer and winter in Latin America and the Caribbean.   They include such notable species as the Baltimore Oriole. There are over 300 species of these birds. Protecting these birds requires international cooperation."

 

The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act originated in 2000 and encourages habitat protection and other measures to provide for the long-term protection of these migratory birds. Since 2002, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has invested more than $25 million in 262 projects in 44 U.S. states, Canada, and 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries, and leveraged an additional $112 million in partner funds to support these projects. The reauthorization legislation authorizes $8 million for fiscal year 2010, gradually escalating to $20 million for fiscal year 2015, in order to meet expanding funding needs.