WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, was recently honored by Ducks Unlimited (DU) for receiving the Wetlands Conservation Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to conservation and restoration of North America’s wetlands and waterfowl habitat.
“It means so much to me to receive this honor from Ducks Unlimited—an organization whose successful on-the-ground work I like to point to as one of our greatest examples of the North American conservation model. As a proud member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, I take real joy in seeing firsthand how DU’s conservation work protects millions of acres of North America’s wetlands and wildlife refuges. In recent years, DU has been an essential partner in the successful campaigns to pass the Dingell Act, the Great American Outdoors Act, and the ACE Act into law. I was especially proud to work with DU to champion a long-term reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. I look forward to working with DU members in the final push to pass the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act to treat all of our wildlife with the same resources and focus that Ducks Unlimited has provided to our wetlands and waterfowl habitat,” said Heinrich.
Ducks Unlimited announced the winners of the 2022 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards recently during the 87th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference held in Spokane, Washington.
DU’s Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards are presented annually in six categories to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and restoration of North America’s wetlands and waterfowl. Senator Heinrich received the award in the Senior Federal Official category.
“Every year we recognize outstanding professionals who share our passion for wetlands and waterfowl conservation,” said Ducks Unlimited Chief Conservation Officer Karen Waldrop. “DU relies on a network of talented individuals to achieve our wetland and waterfowl conservation goals. The winners demonstrate how people with a shared passion for wetlands, waterfowl and wildlife can achieve great things. DU is honored to recognize their work and we hope their achievements inspire others. It takes teamwork to ensure a bright future for our wetland resources. We are pleased to honor people who lead the way.”
“There is no question that Senator Heinrich is a champion for wetlands and wildlife,” said DU Chief Policy Officer Zach Hartman. “Thanks to his leadership on once-in-a-generation conservation policy achievements, such as the ACE Act and the Great American Outdoors Act, all Americans will enjoy more wildlife habitat, more opportunities for outdoor recreation, cleaner water and more resilient communities. The impacts of his earnest commitment to conservation are felt not just in New Mexico, but across all of North America – and there’s no policymaker more deserving of this award than Senator Heinrich.”
Senator Heinrich played a key role in the crafting and passage of the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act to the benefit of thousands of species of at-risk wildlife. The ACE Act, which was signed into law on Oct. 30, 2020, reauthorized the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) through 2025 – for the first time since 2012 – and increased authorized funding for the program to $60 million for each of Fiscal Years 2021 through 2025.
Senator Heinrich is currently working to advance the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. This landmark bipartisan legislation, that now has over 32 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate, will be among the largest, most significant investments in wildlife and habitat conservation.