Farmers Being Paid for Welcoming Migratory Birds


Backed by the Nature Conservancy and started with data from eBird, the BirdReturns program pays rice farmers in the flight path of migratory shore birds to keep their fields flooded with irrigation water from the Sacramento River as migrating flocks arrive. Since the program pays for only several weeks of water instead of purchasing the habitat, payments are just decent.

Ultimately, the conservationists at BirdReturns aim to boost the number of shorebirds that pass over the Central Valley to 400,000, from the current number of 170,000.


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Finnovation Lab, a Twin Cities-based program supported by the Bush Foundation, has graduated its inaugural class of social impact entrepreneurs from its fellowship program.




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