NFWF Announces $1.9 Million in Grants from the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund

Eleven projects will increase pollinator habitat and boost conservations efforts

Monarch butterfly on compass plant

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 16, 2021) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $1.9 million in grants to conserve monarch butterflies and other insect pollinators in California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The grants will generate $3.2 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $5.1 million.

The grants were awarded through the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund (Pollinator Fund), a partnership between NFWF and Bayer Crop Science, BNSF Railway, Shell Oil Company, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

"Monarch butterflies and pollinators are essential to keeping our natural ecosystems productive and our agricultural lands thriving," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "The grants announced today will help to protect imperiled pollinator species and improve the habitats on which they depend."

The projects supported by the 11 grants announced today will increase the quality and quantity of pollinator habitat for monarch butterflies, rusty patched bumble bees and other native pollinators. The projects will also enhance outreach and organizational coordination. 

"NRCS works with partners like NFWF to fund projects that support America's farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners through voluntary conservation efforts to combat the decline of monarchs, one of the most iconic butterflies in North America," said NRCS Chief Terry Cosby. "This project will enable producers to establish and manage habitat for monarchs and pollinators to support their continued survival."

Collectively, it is expected that the projects funded today will:

  • Restore and enhance more than 35,000 acres of pollinator habitat
  • Collect more than 1,360 pounds of milkweed seed
  • Propagate more than 99,100 milkweed seedlings
  • Host more than 60 workshops and meetings that advance pollinator conservation

"We are proud to support the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund that will have lasting impacts on a crucial wildlife species through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation," said Aura Cuellar, Shell Vice President, US Energy Transition. "Not only does the program align with Shell’s strategy of respecting nature through positive contributions to biodiversity, but pollinators also help accelerate society’s transition to net zero emissions with their vital role in plant reproduction. Shell is glad to support development of long-term benefits to the environment and communities where we live and work."

The monarch butterfly is one of the most iconic species in North America, and its annual migration cycle is one of the most remarkable natural phenomena in the world. However, over the past 20 years, the monarch butterfly population has declined by more than 80 percent throughout much of its range. Several other pollinators have experienced similarly dramatic declines in recent decades. Habitat loss is a primary threat to many of these species. 

"Bayer is a proud supporter of this program as we believe that commitment to biodiversity and productivity in agriculture are compatible goals. Additionally, conserving and restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services is a value that farmers can generate for society," said Aimee Hood, Regulatory and Scientific Engagement Lead, Bayer Crop Science.

In 2015, NFWF established the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund, a public–private partnership that funds projects to protect, conserve and increase habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators. By leveraging the resources and expertise of its partners, the fund is helping to reverse recent population declines and ensure the survival of these valuable species.

A complete list of the 2021 grants made through the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund is available here. A short video about the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund can be viewed here.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

NFWF works with the public and private sectors to sustain, restore and enhance the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats for current and future generations. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF has grown to become the nation’s largest private conservation grant-maker, funding more than 19,700 projects and generating a total conservation impact of $6.8 billion. Learn more at

About Bayer Crop Science 

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to help people and planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to drive sustainable development and generate a positive impact with its businesses. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2020, the Group employed around 100,000 people and had sales of 41.4 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 4.9 billion euros. For more information, go to

About Shell 

Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. Over the past 100 years, Shell has helped preserve and protect habitat and species through hundreds of conservation projects and initiatives. Collaborating with key organizations and environmental NGOs has enabled Shell to leverage its efforts to ensure the highest possible impact – including the protection of more than 13 million acres of wetlands.

About the Natural Resources Conservation Service 

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides one-on-one, personalized advice on the best solutions to meet the unique conservation and business goals of those who grow our nation’s food and fiber.  NRCS helps landowners make investments in their operations and local communities to keep working lands working, boost rural economies, increase the competitiveness of American agriculture, and improve the health of our air, water, and soil. NRCS also generates, manages, and shares the data, research and standards that enable partners and policymakers to make decisions informed by objective, reliable science. In simpler terms, NRCS’s focus is “Helping People Help the Land.” For more information, visit 



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