Celebrating with Our Partners
As we celebrate 75 years of conservation success this year, DU's many partners are joining the party. Over the past 75 years, the evolution of DU and the broader campaign for wetlands has been nothing short of amazing. What started as the dream of a few visionary waterfowl hunters has become the shared commitment of some 600,000 DU members and volunteers, as well as millions of other conservationists.
While DU relies on the individual dedication of each of its members, collectively these same members form a force that can't be ignored. The sum of their passion, creativity, and ingenuity is what drives DU forward. The same is true of our partnerships. Our partners inspire us to think creatively, dream bigger dreams, and achieve results that would be unattainable without their help.
A Case Study in Conservation In 2010, DU received a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant of $783,823 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's (NFWF) Sustain Our Great Lakes Program to enhance 75 acres of coastal marsh in Manistee County, Michigan. To secure NFWF's backing, DU and its main project partner and owner of the marsh, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (GTRLC), expanded the scope of this project to solicit additional support and develop a truly ecosystem-based conservation partnership.
Habitat work included restoration of a one-mile section of Bowens Creek that flows through Arcadia Marsh. The Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) and Manistee County Road Commission joined the effort by replacing several culverts that drained into Arcadia Marsh, restoring more than 10 miles of fish passage for trout and other cold-water fish species. In the future, fish habitat will be enhanced by placing woody structure in the restored stream channel, invasive species will be controlled, and native wetland plants will be restored. A comprehensive project-monitoring effort led by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and GTRLC will be conducted to ensure that all habitat restoration objectives are achieved. In the end, many potential stumbling blocks were transformed into opportunities, thanks to the power of partnerships.
Becky Humphries is director of operations and Gildo Tori is director of public policy at DU's Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office in Ann Arbor, Michigan.