America's wildlife has an advocate in the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The agency works to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wild animals, and plants as well as their habitats. A unit of the
Department of the Interior
, the FWS took its present form in 1940 and oversees the national wildlife refuge system, bird habitat conservation, federal duck stamps, national fish hatchery system, and the endangered species program. Its myriad services include fire and contaminant management, law enforcement, legislative affairs, and science initiatives. Operating from eight regional offices and more than 700 field stations, the FWS enforces such laws as the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.