The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) earlier this month announced $2.9 million in grants to conserve monarch butterflies and other insect pollinators in 17 states. The grants will leverage $4.5 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $7.4 million.
The grants were awarded through the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund (Pollinator Fund), a partnership between NFWF, 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, Shell USA, and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation.
The projects supported by the 16 grants 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.
“Pollinators like monarch butterflies and bees are essential to the nation’s ecosystems and economy,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The grants announced … will advance voluntary conservation efforts in 17 states by establishing and managing pollinator habitat on public and private lands.”
Collectively, it is expected that the projects announced will:
• Restore and enhance more than 16,800 acres of pollinator habitat;
• Collect more than 560 pounds of milkweed seed;
• Propagate more than 195,000 milkweed seedlings;
• Host more than 80 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.
“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.
“We are proud to support the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund that will have lasting impacts on a crucial wildlife species,” said Karen Miller, General Manager of Distribution Operations for Shell in North America. “The program aligns with Shell’s strategy of respecting nature through positive contributions to biodiversity, and Shell is glad to support development of long-term benefits to the environment and communities where we live and work in southern California.”
“At the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, we strive to protect a broad range of environmental resources,” said Brian Herrington, president of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. “Paramount in our efforts is the support of important initiatives such as those undertaken by the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund, whose focus aligns with our Pollinator Promise to dedicate grants and education resources for the expansion of pollinator gardens. Through our collective efforts, 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 $19.7 million to 123 projects that are helping conserve and recover the monarch butterfly while also benefiting other pollinator species. Grantees have matched this investment with an additional $32.3 million for a total on-the-ground impact of $52 million.
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 $7.4 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.