The SFBJV spent a busy week (March 13 – 17) in DC meeting with Congressional staffers and agency representatives as part of DC Fly-In. The DC “Fly in” is organized by the Association of Joint Venture Management Boards to advocate for the Migratory Bird Joint Venture Program (MBJV), a tri-national program with 23 habitat and three species Joint Ventures. Approximately 45 members from the MBJV staff, management boards, and other partners, descended upon DC during appropriations week to meet with agency and Congressional staff to discuss MBJV priorities and individual JV priorities.
Our contingency included Sandra Scoggin (Coordinator, SFBJV), Nikki Roach (Policy and Communications Coordinator, SFBJV), Liz Chamberlin (Director of Innovation, Point Blue Conservation Science), Sammie Arthur (Working Lands Program Director, Audubon CA), and Jeff McCreary (Director of Operations, Western Region, Ducks Unlimited). We met with both California senate offices and every district office across our geographic scope, for a total of 13 congressional meetings. In addition, our contingent participated in meetings with the US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams and Deputy Director of the Migratory Bird Joint Venture Program, Jerome Ford; the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Office of Habitat Conservation); and US Geological Survey.
In four days we had a total of 17 meetings, many social outings, and many 10,000+ step days along with shoe changes. Accomplishments from the trip included: 1) A “Dear Colleague” letter from Congressman Huffman seeking support to fund the EPA Region 9 (SF Bay) district office for $75M; 2) US Army Corps of Engineers SF Bay Area was awarded $91.2M in disaster relief funds for continued restoration efforts in the South Bay; and 3) we submitted six appropriations request for the Migratory Bird Joint Venture Program and one community project funding request for the Middle Harbor Enhancement Project. Most valuable of all, was being able to network with new and old friends in person in DC, develop new relationships with DC district staff, and learn more about the appropriations process.
The Migratory Bird Joint Venture DC fly-in occurs during the first quarter of each year. This year, we coordinated across California Joint Ventures – Central Valley, Central Coast, Pacific Birds, and the Sonoran Joint Venture, to create a streamlined discussion about key habitat and wildlife priorities across the state of California. With our new Policy Coordinator, we will be able to continue to move our policy work forward with district staff and partners to enhance restoration opportunities and implementation throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are interested in participating in our Policy Committee or learning more about our policy work or the fly in, contact Nikki Roach (nroach AT sfbayjv.org).