Joyce Legislation to Protect Migratory Birds Passes House

Apr 09, 2024
Great Lakes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives advanced Congressman Dave Joyce’s Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act of 2023 (H.R. 4389). In July, this legislation was introduced alongside Representatives María Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Rick Larsen (D-WA), and Mary Peltola (D-AK). 

“Americans from across the country come to Ohio to see the state’s diverse and expansive migratory bird population,” said Congressman Joyce. “With the passage of this critical bill in the House, we are one step closer to reauthorizing the successful Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act program. In doing so, we will continue to conserve bird habitats and support healthy bird populations, which are critical to our outdoor recreation economy.”

“We have lost three billion birds since 1970—a staggering number—and this legislation is critically important to help communities and partners meet the challenges of the moment so we can conserve migratory birds for years to come,” said Marshall Johnson, chief conservation officer at the National Audubon Society.  “96 million Americans engage in birdwatching, contributing $100 billion to the U.S. economy each year. Investing in migratory bird conservation across the hemisphere is essential to reversing these troubling bird declines. We thank the House and the co-sponsors of this bill for their leadership, and urge swift passage of the companion bill in the Senate.”


Ohio offers some of the best bird watching and birding opportunities in the country, especially along the Lake Erie shoreline. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, there are an estimated 3.2 million wildlife-watchers in Ohio, and bird enthusiasts comprise an estimated 1.6 million of this total. Each year about 120,000 out-of-state-birders visit Ohio, with Lake Erie the most popular destination. Estimates have also shown that birders visiting Ohio contributed more than $26 million to local economies. 

Since 2002, the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act program has provided nearly $75 million in grants to support 628 projects in 36 countries. These projects have positively affected approximately 5 million acres of bird habitat and spurred partnerships on multiple levels contributing an additional $286 million.

Read the full text of the bill here.

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