February 10, 2023

Commissioner Camuso Named By Interior Secretary Haaland To Serve on International Council

For Immediate Release February 8, 2023
AUGUSTA, Maine - US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland recently announced that Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Judy Camuso was appointed to the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, the first person from Maine to ever serve on the international council.

"It is an honor to be named to the council and to have the opportunity to help other states and provinces protect and enhance such an invaluable resource and broad array of species," said Camuso, The work of this council and the funding they provide is even more important as we confront changes associated with climate change.

The North American Wetlands Conservation Council protects, restores and enhances wetland habitat for birds and other species. Since 1989, the council has provided over $2 billion in grants for over 3,000 projects in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The grants have attracted over $4.1 billion in matching funds, protecting or enhancing over $31 million acres of wetlands and connected uplands.

In Maine, over the last five years, the state has received $15,499,725 in funds from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act , which was matched by $59,074,347. Since 2018, this program has protected 137,123 acres in Maine, including large parcels of land along the Kennebec and Narraguagus Rivers, and significant coastal wetlands in central and Downeast Maine.

Camuso's appointment to the council comes recently after being named Vice Chair of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Judy also serves as chair of AFWAs North American Bird Conservation Initiative, vice chair of the National Conservation Leadership Institute, and is vice president of the North East Association of Fish and Wildlife agencies.

Since being appointed Commissioner by Governor Janet Mills in February, 2019, Camuso has overseen continued growth in hunting and fishing participation, increased communication between the department and the public, and has made it a priority to reduce barriers to getting more people outside. Maine has become a leader in outdoor recreation and communication.