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Policy News 1.15

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Top stories for Sept. 8, 2009
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New tools for restoring America's "Energy Coast"

A new effort to restore the vanishing Louisiana and Mississippi coastline is underway, with the formation of a new interagency task force by the Obama administration. The new task force, which will be led by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, will work with the Louisiana Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority (LACRPA) which includes Ducks Unlimited's Senior Director of Conservation Ken Babcock.

In addition to working with the new task force, the LACRPA has also launched a new feature on their Web site—a Coastal News page with the latest information on the latest developments on restoring the Gulf Coast.

The Louisiana coast provides wintering habitat for large continental populations of several species: 95 percent of gadwall, 90 percent of mottled duck, 80 percent of green-winged teal, 80 percent of redheads, 60 percent of lesser scaup and 25 percent of pintails.




Proposals to save DU donors money gaining steam

Proposals in the House and Senate to expand a charitable donation program are gaining steam as Congress returns from the summer district work period. The Good IRA Rollover Act, introduced in the House by Rep. Earl Pomeroy (ND), has attracted 47 co-sponsors, and sister legislation in the Senate, introduced by Sen. Byron Dorgan (ND), has picked up 13.

The proposals would expand a program that allows DU donors to take a portion of their IRA disbursements and distribute them tax-free to charities, saving them money on their tax bill and saving habitat at the same time. The expansion would allow other retirement savings plans to allow similar contributions.

The IRA rollover expansion is just one way that Ducks Unlimited is working with Congress to ensure that conservationists have varied tax incentives that help them plan their finances and protect land for future generations.




Federal agencies to release plans to restore key waterfowl habitat area

Several top cabinet departments and federal agencies will be releasing their latest draft plans for restoring the Chesapeake Bay, one of the most important waterfowl habitat areas on the east coast.

The Chesapeake Bay Executive Order requires that the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Interior, Transportation and others prepare and submit draft reports by Sept. 9, 2009.

The Chesapeake Bay watershed is one of the most important areas for migrating waterfowl, wintering thousands of Atlantic brant, diving ducks and black ducks.

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