Maine’s senior senator is joining a group of colleagues to reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act for another five years.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins says the bipartisan group of senators wants to increase the authorized annual funding for the program to $60 million. The act came into existence 30 years ago to provide federal money for projects that protect waterfowl, fish and other wildlife.

Maine alone is the site of nearly 100 North American Wetlands Conservation Act projects that are either completed or underway. Collins says the projects have conserved more than a million acres of wildlife habitat.

The act allows the federal government to share costs of conservation projects with states, local governments, private industry groups and nonprofit conservation organizations.

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