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Banding Together for Waterfowl

North Atlantic / New England Coast

Level III Ducks Unlimited conservation priority area, major wintering area for Atlantic Flyway brant, scaup, black ducks and bufflehead
  • photo by Richard M. Milnes
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Coastal and inland wetlands along the Atlantic coast have been recognized as an important ecological resource, not only for waterfowl, but wading birds, shorebirds and other aquatic species that depend upon coastal marshes during their lifetime. Within the mid-Atlantic region, a substantial number of salt marshes have been lost during the past 200 years. Between 1954 and 1978, loss rates were extremely high primarily due to urban and industrial development. However, since the passage of protective legislation, loss rates have declined dramatically. The focus of DU’s conservation programs in the region is on meeting the needs of migratory and wintering waterfowl by restoring and conserving coastal watersheds.

Importance to waterfowl

  • The most common nesting species in this initiative are mallards, black ducks and Canada geese.
  • Coastal wetlands in Maine are used extensively by black ducks, sea ducks and geese during winter and migration.
  • The majority of Atlantic Flyway populations of brant, greater scaup, black ducks and bufflehead winter in southern New England and the New York bight.
  • About one-third of the entire Atlantic Flyway population of wintering black ducks can be found in the New York bight.

Habitat issues

  • North Atlantic/New England Coast mapThe New England Coast is one of the most populous and heavily industrialized coastal areas in the world.
  • Remaining coastal wetlands are subject to extreme social and economic pressures.

DU's conservation focus

  • Meet the needs of migratory and wintering waterfowl by restoring and conserving coastal watersheds.
  • Breeding objectives for mallards and black ducks.
  • Efforts to restore wetlands and associated habitats will be focused in the coastal areas.
  • Establish public education programs on the importance of wetland values and a healthy environment.

States in the North Atlantic / New England Coast region

Connecticut |  Maine | Massachusetts
New Hampshire | New York | Rhode Island

More information


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