DOVER, Del. – Aug. 7, 2017 – Today, Ducks Unlimited (DU) and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) hosted Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) on a tour of some of the state’s conservation projects.
The conservation projects provide important habitat benefits and outdoor recreation opportunities. Ducks Unlimited’s CEO Dale Hall and DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin, along with various staff members and volunteers, gathered to discuss the importance of these projects for wildlife habitat as well as the benefits natural infrastructure provides to Delaware and its economy.
"Delaware is blessed with some of the most beautiful wildlife areas and reserves," Carper said. "These areas are not only important habitats to the species that call them home, but they are also economic drivers for our region. That is why it is so important that federal and state governments work together with local partners like Ducks Unlimited to preserve and protect these areas for generations to come."
Guests toured two Dover projects at the Ted Harvey Conservation Area and Little Creek Wildlife Area. The project at Ted Harvey Conservation Area is partially funded through a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant that helped conserve an additional 2,000 acres in Delaware. The pending project at Little Creek Wildlife Area is expected to restore or enhance nearly 900 acres of wetland habitat.
"Seeing on-the-ground conservation dollars at work is one of the most rewarding aspects of what we do at Ducks Unlimited," Hall said. "Projects like Ted Harvey and Little Creek are crucial for our nation's waterfowl. We thank Senator Carper for his support of the NAWCA program, as well as the Delaware Department of Natural Resources for their continued efforts to advance wetlands conservation."
As Congress begins to consider a comprehensive infrastructure package, Ducks Unlimited believes there is an opportunity to include natural infrastructure to complement current built infrastructure and enhance resiliency. During the tour, DU and DNREC highlighted how natural infrastructure is benefitting Delaware.
"DNREC is excited about Delaware’s ongoing coastal impoundment restoration and resiliency projects that we have toured today," Garvin said. "By using a combination of federal, state, and conservation partner funding for environmental infrastructure, we can help ensure that these critically important wildlife habitats and outdoor recreation areas are protected and made more resilient for future generations to come."
Since its inception in 1989, grants from NAWCA have totaled more than $1.48 billion and have leveraged $4.34 billion in non-federal contributions from partners, including Ducks Unlimited supporters, conserving more than 33.4 million acres. These contributions have far exceeded the match requirements, allowing for the successful implementation of wetland habitat conservation projects across North America. Delaware has 10 NAWCA projects either completed or underway. These projects have conserved a total of 10,803 acres of wildlife habitat. NAWCA funding of more than $6 million has stimulated partner contributions of over $12.6 million in the state.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 14 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.