Thompson Introduces America's Conservation Enhancement Reauthorization Act of 2024

Press Release


Washington – On Friday, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-04) introduced the America's Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Reauthorization Act of 2024 alongside Rep. Rob Wittman (VA-01), Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-06) and Rep. Jen Kiggans (VA-02). This comprehensive legislation will enhance the preservation of America's natural resources, wildlife, and habitats.

“Reauthorizing our most critical wildlife conservation programs just makes sense,” said Thompson. “The ACE Act will ensure the longevity of our North American Wetlands Conservation Act Program, which has already helped conserve over 32 million acres of wetlands across our country, as well as other impactful programs. I’m a longtime supporter of U.S. conservation efforts and I am proud to serve as a co-sponsor for this bipartisan legislation. I thank Reps. Wittman, Dingell, and Kiggans for their support.” "As a former marine scientist, I know from experience how critical it is that we protect and manage our natural resources wisely,” said Wittman. “I’m proud to introduce the America's Conservation Enhancement Reauthorization Act, which continues record investment in our nation’s precious natural resources, including the Chesapeake Bay. By reauthorizing and enhancing these vital conservation programs, we are taking significant steps to support our agricultural communities, and preserve our wildlife, waters, and lands for future generations." 

“The United States is in the midst of an unprecedented biodiversity crisis, and we need to act now and invest substantively in conservation,” said Dingell. “I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce America's Conservation Enhancement Reauthorization Act to support a broad range of conservation programs and am hopeful we can work together to increase the funding in this bill to the level authorized by the Senate.” “As Coastal Virginians, the Chesapeake Bay is an invaluable part of our everyday lives,” said Kiggans. “I am proud to partner with my friend and colleague, Congressman Wittman, on legislation to ensure we can continue to conserve our beautiful waterways, wetlands, and wildlife habitats for decades to come!”

A longtime advocate for wildlife and land conservation, Rep. Thompson serves as a co-chair of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, Land Conservation Caucus, and Wildlife Refuge Caucus. To date, he's voted to conserve 2.23 million acres of land through the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission and sponsored legislation that led to the permanent protection of nearly 1 million acres.

The ACE Act includes the following legislation, among other bills: 

North American Wetlands Conservation Act:

  • Protects waterfowl, fish, wildlife resources, and wetland habitats 
  • Supports local economies that depend on outdoor recreation, tourism, and agriculture
  • Preserves American traditions such as hunting, fishing, bird watching, family farming, and cattle ranching.

National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act:

  • Strengthens partnerships and projects to help maintain healthy fish populations and aquatic ecosystems.

“Roughly a third of all species in the United States are at risk,” said Andrew Wilkins, director of land conservation policy at the National Wildlife Federation. “We’re so pleased that Representative Wittman and his colleagues are leading this effort to reauthorize the ACE Act, which supports collaborative efforts to restore habitat for wildlife on our lands and in our waters. Americans are united in support of protecting our outdoor heritage and we are hoping for a swift, bipartisan vote in favor of this bill.”

“NAWCA is a foundational pillar of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam. “Combined with regional programs like the Chesapeake Bay Program and the Chesapeake WILD Act, the ACE Act helps restore habitat across the U.S. while making our communities more resilient. We thank Rep. Wittman for introducing legislation to reauthorize some of North America’s most successful wetlands conservation programs and urge his colleagues to support it.” 

"Provisions within the ACE Act like the National Fish Habitat Partnership are invaluable for America's 54.5 million anglers and $148 billion sportfishing economy," said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association. "Reauthorizing these critical programs will result in direct and immediate benefits for our waterways, fish and recreational anglers. We are grateful to Reps. Wittman, Dingell, Kiggans, and Thompson for leading this important effort."

While making major investments in conservation of natural resources, the bill also includes important measures to enhance accountability and reporting to ensure the effectiveness and transparency of funded projects.