PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is co-sponsoring the most significant wildlife conservation bill in nearly half a century, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. The bipartisan bill will devote $1.4 billion annually to locally-led efforts – including $11.2 million to Rhode Island – to help prevent extinctions and help at-risk wildlife species.
“We’re facing a looming wildlife crisis, and this is the most important piece of wildlife legislation in the past fifty years,” said Priscilla De La Cruz, president of the Environment Council of Rhode Island, and senior director of government affairs at Audubon Society of Rhode Island. “We thank Senator Whitehouse for co-sponsoring this fiscally responsible effort to help at-risk wildlife with collaborative, voluntary measures across every state, territory and Tribal nation.”
“Saving the thousands of at-risk wildlife species will require bold, bipartisan leadership and unprecedented collaboration,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We are so grateful to Senator Whitehouse for leading the way on the historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act that will have an immediate impact – saving species and creating jobs in Rhode Island and all across the country.”
Nationwide, the money from the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will fund locally-led, collaborative wildlife restoration efforts. At least 15 percent of the funds will be used to help species already designated as endangered or threatened. Tribal nations, such as the Narragansett Indian Tribe, would share $97.5 million annually to fund wildlife conservation efforts on tribal lands.
Representatives David Cicilline and James Langevin are among the more than 100 bipartisan supporters of the House version of the legislation.
“Wildlife conservation is an issue that unites all Rhode Islanders. We hope Senator Reed will join the rest of the Rhode Island delegation in cosponsoring this commonsense bill,” said Greg Gerritt, coordinator of the Rhode Island Nature Video Festival for the Environment Council of Rhode Island.
More than 450 local species would benefit from the bill, including the North Atlantic right whale and the American lobster.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.