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NFWF Awards More Than $1.5 Million in Grants to Recover Monarch Butterflies and Pollinators across the United States

Ten projects will increase pollinator habitat and boost conservation efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced ten grant awards totaling more than $1.5 million to conserve monarch butterflies and other insect pollinators in nine states across the country. The grants will generate more than $2.8 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of more than $4.4 million.

“These projects will restore and improve habitat for monarch butterflies and other at-risk native pollinators, which are vital to the nation’s ecosystems and economy,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “By helping private landowners and other land managers deliver on-the-ground conservation, the grants announced today will benefit not only these important insects, but also the many other wildlife species and human communities that rely on pollinators for critical ecological services.”

The ten projects awarded today in Arizona, California, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin will increase the quality and quantity of pollinator habitat for monarch butterflies, rusty patched bumble bees and other native pollinator species. The projects will also enhance outreach and organizational coordination. Collectively, the funded projects will:

  • Restore and enhance more than 24,000 acres of pollinator habitat
  • Collect more than 100 pounds of milkweed seed
  • Propagate more than 12,000 milkweed seedlings
  • Host 179 workshops and meetings focused on pollinator conservation

The 2019 grants were awarded through the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund. This year’s funding partners include Shell, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Forest Service, and the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service.

“We’re proud to support conservation projects that improve biodiversity in areas where we operate,” said Amir Gerges, Shell Vice President, Permian.

“Pollinators like butterflies and bees are vital to both healthy ecosystems and productive agricultural operations,” said NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr. “NRCS is proud to be a part of this important partnership.”

The monarch butterfly is one of the most iconic species in North America and its annual migration cycle is one of the most remarkable natural phenomena in the world. However, over the past 20 years, the monarch butterfly population has declined by more than 80 percent throughout much of its range. Several other pollinators have experienced similarly dramatic declines in recent decades. Habitat loss is a primary threat to many of these species.

In 2015, NFWF established the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund, a public–private partnership that funds projects to protect, conserve and increase habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators. By leveraging the resources and expertise of its partners, the fund is helping to reverse recent population declines and ensure the survival of these valuable species.

A complete list of the 2019 grants made through the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund is available at www.nfwf.org/monarch.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $5.3 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org​.

About Shell
Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. Over the past 100 years, Shell has helped preserve and protect habitat and species through hundreds of conservation projects and initiatives. Collaborating with key organizations and environmental NGOs has enabled Shell to leverage its efforts to ensure the highest possible impact – including the protection of more than 13 million acres of wetlands.

About the Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides one-on-one, personalized advice on the best solutions to meet the unique conservation and business goals of those who grow our nation’s food and fiber.  NRCS helps landowners make investments in their operations and local communities to keep working lands working, boost rural economies, increase the competitiveness of American agriculture, and improve the health of our air, water, and soil. NRCS also generates, manages, and shares the data, research and standards that enable partners and policymakers to make decisions informed by objective, reliable science. In simpler terms, NRCS’s focus is “Helping People Help the Land.” For more information, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov​.

About the U.S. Forest Service
Established in 1905, the Forest Service’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands managed by the Forest Service provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply and contribute more than $10 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. The agency has a direct or indirect stewardship role in caring for about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres in the U.S. This includes 100 million acres in urban areas where most Americans live. The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, visit www.fs.fed.us.

About the Bureau of Land Management
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska.  The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.  The agency's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America's public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.  Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $105 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2018 - more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior.  These activities supported more than 471,000 jobs. For more information, visit https://www.blm.gov.

About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov or connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.

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Rob Blumenthal
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
(202) 857-0166
rob.blumenthal@nfwf.org