TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Senator Marco Rubio has signed onto a bipartisan wildlife conservation bill, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, that will dedicate $1.4 billion annually to locally-led efforts to help at-risk wildlife species nationwide.
“We’re facing a looming wildlife crisis, especially in Florida,” said Preston Robertson, president and CEO of the Florida Wildlife Federation. “We thank Senator Rubio for co-sponsoring this effort to help at-risk wildlife with collaborative, voluntary measures across every state, territory and Tribal nation.”
The bill will send $38.6 million to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission which the agency will use to implement its wildlife action plan. Nearly 700 local species would benefit – including gopher tortoises, Wakulla seaside sparrows, and Apalachicola snapping turtles.
“We are appreciative of the congressional support for this landmark effort to conserve fish and wildlife resources in Florida as well across the nation,” said Eric Sutton, Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
At least 15 percent of the funds will be used to help species already designated as endangered or threatened. Federally recognized tribal nations, such as the Seminole Tribe of Florida, would share $97.5 million annually to fund wildlife conservation efforts on tribal lands.
“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 Rubio for leading the way on the historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act that will have an immediate impact – saving species and creating jobs in Florida and all across the country.”
Florida representatives Murphy, Rutherford, Salazar, Crist, Lawson, and Soto are among the 119 bipartisan supporters of the House version of the legislation.
“Wildlife conservation is an issue that unites all Floridians. We hope Senator Scott and the rest of the Congressional delegation will join Senator Rubio in cosponsoring this commonsense bill,” said Robertson.
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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.