DU, Partners Secure $1 million Grant for Iowa's Portion of Prairie Pothole Region

Ducks Unlimited received a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant earlier this year for projects in Iowa. NAWCA is a federal matching grants program that provides funding for wetland and migratory bird habitat conservation work across North America.

"Wetlands play a vital role in maintaining the quality of our environment, and NAWCA is the single best investment of federal wetlands dollars anywhere in the federal budget," Iowa Congressman Steve King said. "Ducks Unlimited's ongoing efforts to leverage NAWCA funding with private funds to protect, restore, and manage wetland habitat throughout Iowa's portion of the Prairie Pothole Region is an important project that will provide long term benefits to our state and to our people."

This grant represents the second phase of a five-year, multimillion-dollar conservation partnership aimed at protecting, restoring, and enhancing critical wetland and associated upland habitat throughout Iowa's portion of the Prairie Pothole Region. Phase-two funds will be leveraged with more than $2 million of additional nonfederal matching dollars to conserve more than 765 acres of habitat on public lands.

Key partners on this project include the Nature Conservancy, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Dickinson County Conservation Board, Kossuth County Conservation Board, the Dickinson and Kossuth County chapters of Pheasants Forever, Matthew Barr, Friends of Union Slough National Wildlife Refuge, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"This grant represents a coordinated and science-based effort among a very diverse group of conservation partners," said Eric Lindstrom, DU regional biologist in Iowa. "DU is pleased to be working with such a dedicated group of folks, all committed to achieving one common goal—to have a lasting and landscape-scale conservation impact in Iowa."

Recognized as one of the nation's most effective wetlands conservation programs, NAWCA promotes private-public partnerships aimed at successfully implementing the habitat objectives of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Every federal dollar invested by NAWCA must be matched by at least one dollar from nonfederal sources, but due to the success of this program, NAWCA funds are often tripled or quadrupled at the local level. Since Congress established NAWCA in 1989, more than $1billion in federal grants have been matched by an additional $3 billion from nonfederal partners to conserve more than 25 million acres of critical habitat for waterfowl and wetland-dependent wildlife.