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NFWF Announces $4.1 Million in Grants to Conserve the Monarch Butterfly and Other Insect Pollinators

Eighteen projects will increase pollinator habitat and boost conservation efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $4.1 million in grants to conserve monarch butterflies and other insect pollinators in 15 states. The grants will leverage $6.6 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $10.7 million.

The grants were awarded through the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund (Pollinator Fund), a partnership between NFWF and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Forest Service (USFS), Bayer Crop Science, Danone North America and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation.

The projects supported by the 18 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.

"The nation's ecosystems and economy are inextricably linked to pollinators," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "The grants announced today will support collaborative efforts to establish and manage habitat for pollinators living across the monarch butterfly's eastern and western migratory routes."

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

  • Restore and enhance more than 39,000 acres of pollinator habitat
  • Collect more than 140 pounds of milkweed seed
  • Propagate more than 46,000 milkweed seedlings
  • Host more than 130 workshops and meetings that advance pollinator conservation

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.

"The NFWF Pollinator Fund showcases what is truly possible when diverse partners come together to drive restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services with on-the-ground conservation projects. Bayer continues to be a proud supporter of this program as we believe that our commitments to biodiversity and productivity in the agricultural landscape are compatible goals," said Tim Fredricks, Environmental Engagement Manager, Bayer Crop Science.

"Danone North America is pleased to be advancing pollinator conservation on private working lands," said Christopher Adamo, Vice President of Public Affairs and Regenerative Agriculture Policy, Danone North America. "Almonds and other specialty crops provide unique opportunities to support agricultural operations and pollinators across the United States. Biodiversity is a fundamental component of our holistic regenerative agriculture framework that considers local conservation needs." 

"Maintaining, restoring, and improving habitat are crucial for species like the monarch butterfly, Dakota skipper, rusty patched bumble bee, and other native pollinators," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams. "The Service is proud to participate in this science-based, outcome-focused partnership for the benefit of a diverse group of pollinators and the American people."

"Aligned with our Pollinator Promise to help establish and enhance pollinator gardens, we look forward to the continued efforts in conserving and recovering pollinators through the Monarch Butterly and Pollinators Conservation Fund," said Brian Herrington, president of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. "Through our collective endeavor with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, we will make a more powerful impact."

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. Since 2015, the fund has awarded $23.8 million to 140 projects that are helping conserve and recover the monarch butterfly while also benefiting other pollinator species. Grantees have matched this investment with an additional $38.9 million for a total on-the-ground impact of $62.7 million.

A complete list of the 2023 grants made through the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund is available here. A short video about the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund is available here​​.          

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, foundation and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 6,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $8.1 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.

About Bayer Crop Science

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to help people and planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to drive sustainable development and generate a positive impact with its businesses. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2022, the Group employed around 101,000 people and had sales of 50.7 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 6.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

Danone North America

Danone North America is a purpose-driven company and an industry leader in the food and beverage category. The company aims to inspire healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices with a strong portfolio of health-focused, fast-growing and on-trend brands including: Activia®, DanActive®, Danimals®, Dannon®, evian®, Follow Your Heart®, Happy Family® Organics, Horizon® Organic, International Delight®, Light + Fit®, Oikos®, Silk®, So Delicious® Dairy Free, STōK®, Two Good®, Wallaby® Organic, and YoCrunch®. With more than 6,000 employees and 16 production locations across the U.S. and Canada, Danone North America's long-standing mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. As a Certified B Corporation®, Danone North America is committed to the creation of both economic and social value, while nurturing natural ecosystems through regenerative agriculture. For more information about Danone North America, visit https://www.danonenorthamerica.com

About The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation

The mission of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation is to inspire, connect and cultivate a community of purpose. The Foundation is deeply rooted in helping create healthier communities, empower the next generation, and preserve our planet. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that funds non-profit entities that support its core initiatives in the form of grants, endowments and multi-year capital gifts. For more information, visit www.scottsmiraclegrofoundation.org.  

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.


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

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