Team DU is banding together for waterfowl to conserve, restore and manage wetland and grassland habitat for generations to come. Don't believe it? Take a look around. Our dedicated volunteers and supporters are working for the ducks and spreading the word like never before.
Fiscal Year 2015 was a productive and successful year for Ducks Unlimited with total revenues exceeding $225 million. More than 55,000 volunteers gave their time and talents to the organization, and the result was impressive. DU events drew more than a half million supporters and raised $56 million in net proceeds. That means 4 percent growth in revenue and 8 percent growth in attendance. And it's all because of dedicated volunteers and generous supporters like you.
In January 2015, DU celebrated the successful conservation of more than 5 million acres of vital waterfowl habitat in the United States. It was a conservation milestone 30 years in the making. These acres are habitat that Ducks Unlimited, with our many partners, has protected, restored, enhanced or managed for waterfowl. This milestone would not have been possible without the continued help and support of our agency, corporate and volunteer partners.
In FY15, DU conserved more than 245,000 acres in the United States, adding to the growing continental number of 13.6 million acres since 1937 in the United States, Canada and Mexico, thanks to the contributions of Ducks Unlimited's volunteers and supporters.
And these conservation investments are paying dividends. The 2015 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations report released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicated another strong year. Overall, breeding duck numbers continue to hover in record territory with the breeding waterfowl survey recording an estimated 49.5 million ducks.
Over the past six years, Bass Pro Shops Founder and CEO Johnny Morris and the entire Bass Pro Shops team have contributed greatly to DU's wetlands conservation efforts. From designating October as "DU Month" at all retail locations to giving Ducks Unlimited a major presence on the NASCAR circuit, Bass Pro Shops' support is impressive and inspiring. And that support continued in a gigantic way in FY15.
The 4,600-square-foot Ducks Unlimited Waterfowling Heritage Center inside Bass Pro Shops at the Memphis Pyramid has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors since opening its doors April 29, 2015. The center is achieving our goal of educating visitors about DU's vision and mission, and with the DU Waterfowling Heritage Center logo now gracing the south side of the Pyramid, this partnership is a tremendous boost to public awareness of our brand and mission.
Our staff and volunteers also worked hard to educate elected officials in Washington, D.C., and articulated the value of the Duck Stamp Act of 2014, which increased the cost of the federal duck stamp from $15 to $25. The additional $10 to $15 million per year will conserve critical waterfowl habitat and help ensure the future of our waterfowling traditions. Since the stamp's introduction in 1934, the program has raised more than $800 million and has conserved more than 6.5 million acres of waterfowl habitat.
Because the need for wetlands conservation is great and the threats to waterfowl habitat are growing, DU launched the public phase of its ambitious Rescue Our Wetlands campaign at our national convention in Milwaukee. Funds raised through Rescue Our Wetlands will allow Ducks Unlimited to protect more of North America's most vital landscapes for waterfowl. This is the largest wetlands and waterfowl conservation campaign in history, and we are confident our volunteers and supporters will help us exceed our $2 billion campaign goal. You'll read much more about campaign details on the following pages.
It has been a great year for conservation. We want to thank each and every one of you for your continued commitment to the Ducks Unlimited mission.
Paul Bonderson Jr., President of Ducks Unlimited
H. Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited
View the annual report in PDF format.
Honor Roll of Donors (PDF)