WASHINGTON – President Biden recently published its draft budget for fiscal year 2023. While the President’s budget is only a request to Congress, he advises Congress in drafting annual spending bills.
This year’s proposed budget includes investments for clean energy research, a civil conservation corps and equity initiatives to help disadvantaged communities. It would increase the budgets of key environmental agencies, including the Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“Federal investments in conservation are critical to bringing the birds back and building resilient communities,” said Justin Stokes, assistant director of conservation, National Audubon Society. “Birds tell us that their survival – and ours – depends on investments in healthy natural spaces and clean energy to curb the effects of climate change and address the biodiversity crisis.
Among the programs in the budget proposed by the president are:
$3.3 billion for clean energy projects
$1.8 billion to help the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior strengthen federal fire services
$1.45 billion for Justice40 initiatives to advance racial equity, clean up pollution and create well-paying jobs for frontline communities
In the Great Lakes region, there is some disappointment with the proposed level of funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program that serves to protect and restore the world’s largest surface freshwater system. You can learn more about Audubon Great Lakes here.
As Congress Considers President Biden’s FY23 Budget Proposal, Audubon Urges Increased Investment for Federal Agencies and Programs That Will Reduce Carbon Emissions, Conserve Our Lands and Waters, and Restore Bird Populations .
Last month, Justin Stokes of Audubon had the opportunity to testify as part of the Congressional appropriations process for fiscal year 2023. In his testimony, he said:
“More than ever, Americans across the country and mMembers of Congress from both aisles agree that climate change poses a serious threat to our health and safety. But recognizing the threat is not enough. Congress must take immediate and concrete action to address the causes and impacts of climate change, which are being felt across the country, including the disastrous wildfire and drought seasons in the West, the increasing number and severity of storms and relentless sea level rise affecting coastal communities. These climate threats disproportionately impact marginalized and historically underserved areas and communities of color, further exacerbating economic inequality.
Since 1970, we have lost 3 billion American birds and two-thirds of our remaining birds are now at risk of extinction due to climate change. Audubon’s 2019 Survival by Degrees report found that if we act now, we can help improve the odds of 76% of species at risk.
Audubon’s political staff continues to analyze the President’s proposed budget and is actively working with Congress as it begins holding hearings on the FY23 appropriations. In the coming weeks, Audubon will share its list year of budget priorities to help the birds, people and places we need.
Media Contact: Matt Smelser, [email protected]
The National Audubon Society protects the birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, across the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and Audubon partners have an unprecedented scale reaching millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a non-profit conservation organization. Find out how to help audubon.org and follow us on Twitter and instagram at @audubonsociety.