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NFWF Announces $1.9 Million in Grants from the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $1.9 million in grants to conserve monarch butterflies and other insect pollinators in California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The grants will generate $3.2 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $5.1 million.

The grants were awarded through the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund, a partnership between NFWF and Bayer Crop Science, BNSF Railway, Shell Oil Company, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Monarch butterflies and pollinators are essential to keeping our natural ecosystems productive and our agricultural lands thriving,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The grants announced today will help to protect imperiled pollinator species and improve the habitats on which they depend.”

The projects supported by the 11 grants announced today will increase the quality and quantity of pollinator habitat for monarch butterflies, rusty patched bumble bees and other native pollinators. The projects will also enhance outreach and organizational coordination.

“NRCS works with partners like NFWF to fund projects that support America's farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners through voluntary conservation efforts to combat the decline of monarchs, one of the most iconic butterflies in North America,” said NRCS Chief Terry Cosby. “This project will enable producers to establish and manage habitat for monarchs and pollinators to support their continued survival.”

Collectively, it is expected that the projects funded today will:

  • Restore and enhance more than 35,000 acres of pollinator habitat
  • Collect more than 1,360 pounds of milkweed seed
  • Propagate more than 99,100 milkweed seedlings
  • Host more than 60 workshops and meetings that advance pollinator conservation

“We are proud to support the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund that will have lasting impacts on a crucial wildlife species through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation,” said Aura Cuellar, Shell Vice President, US Energy Transition. “Not only does the program align with Shell’s strategy of respecting nature through positive contributions to biodiversity, but pollinators also help accelerate society’s transition to net zero emissions with their vital role in plant reproduction. Shell is glad to support development of long-term benefits to the environment and communities where we live and work.”

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.

"Bayer is a proud supporter of this program as we believe that commitment to biodiversity and productivity in agriculture are compatible goals. Additionally, conserving and restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services is a value that farmers can generate for society," said Aimee Hood, Regulatory and Scientific Engagement Lead, Bayer Crop Science.

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.

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