The Congressman was intimately involved in the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), one of the most successful efforts dedicated to waterfowl and wetland habitat conservation and a key program for implementing the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

Former Rep. John Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress, died Thursday, Feb. 7.

During his 59-year tenure in the House of Representatives, Dingell was the longest serving member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC) with 45 years of service. The Congressman was intimately involved in the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), one of the most successful efforts dedicated to waterfowl and wetland habitat conservation and a key program for implementing the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

“This is a sad day for all of us in conservation. John Dingell was an icon in Congress and a hero to me and many others,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall. “His role in the conservation of migratory birds was unmatched and our prayers go out to his family during this time.”

Established in 1989, NAWCA provides federal cost-share funding to support the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an international agreement that provides for the long-term protection of wetlands and associated uplands habitats needed by waterfowl and other migratory birds in North America. NAWCA has helped fund more than 2,833 projects on almost 29.8 million acres in all 50 states, areas of Canada and Mexico. More than 6,000 partners, including private landowners, industry and state governments have worked together to conserve wildlife habitat through NAWCA grants.

Congressman Dingell was instrumental in establishing the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, which includes parts of Michigan, Ohio and Ontario. DU testified in support of the refuge and partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to improve and expand wetlands in the refuge.

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Contributed by Ducks Unlimited