(Extensions of Remarks - September 04, 2018)

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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 146 (Tuesday, September 4, 2018)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1195-E1196]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                          HON. DEBBIE DINGELL

                              of michigan

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, September 4, 2018

  Mrs. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the centennial 
anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). This Act has saved 
millions of migratory birds, protecting over one thousand species 
important to Americans and our natural world.
  Since being signed into law in 1918, the MBTA has played a pivotal 
role in animal welfare. Within my own state of Michigan and in the 12th 
district, birds contribute greatly to the environment of our region. 
Southeast Michigan even includes designated Important Bird Areas like 
the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie Basin, which are used 
extensively for migration by waterfowl such as Canvasbacks, Tundra 
Swans, and more. What's more, their presence also provides substantial 
economic benefits. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that 
there are more than 2 million birders in Michigan, and throughout our 
nation there are over 45 million birders who collectively spend around 
$41 billion on birdwatching each year. And birds remain in serious need 
of protection. According to the 2016 State of the Birds Report, from 
the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, more than one third of 
North American bird species are in need of urgent conservation action. 
Most of the U.S. species are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty 
Act, so this foundational law remains key to their conservation.
  100 years after its implementation, it is critical that we ensure the 
MBTA's continued success. We owe our children and our grandchildren the 
joy of experiencing the rich bird

[[Page E1196]]

life in this great country. The Fish and Wildlife Service has long used 
reasonable discretion to apply the law to hazards including spills and 
oil waste pits, saving countless numbers of birds by incentivizing the 
adoption of simple practices that protect birds. We should build upon 
its success and find solutions that benefit birds and people.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in celebrating this 
monumental anniversary. My hope is that we continue building on the 
legacy of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so that there are many more 
anniversaries to come.