Through the RESTORE Act, as much as $15-20 billion may be channeled to the Gulf Coast for a variety of economic and ecological restoration projects. Ducks Unlimited is engaging in stakeholder meetings, public hearings and partnership-building efforts to best represent the interests of waterfowl and coastal wetlands restoration through the planning process.
DU’s Southern Region has put together recommendations for wetlands restoration projects that will greatly benefit waterfowl and potentially make significant progress toward meeting North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP)
population-based habitat objectives. Conservation staff has identified hundreds of millions of dollars worth of coastal wetlands restoration along the Gulf Coast that will directly benefit wintering and migrating waterfowl populations, as well as resident mottled ducks and whistling ducks.
Habitat restoration and protection projects from the Laguna Madre in Texas to sea grass beds in the Big Bend region of Florida will be important to meeting NAWMP objectives. Furthermore, staff is meeting with appropriate agencies to advocate for large-scale restoration projects aimed at restoring the sustainability of coastal wetland systems. Though DU is unlikely to have a direct hand in delivering these projects, their scale and importance are worth our attention because they are the linchpins of successful restoration meaningful to wintering and migrating waterfowl. Such large-scale projects may include salinity control on Calcasieu and Sabine navigation channels, large-scale sediment and freshwater diversions in southeast Louisiana and additional restoration of larger tracts of coastal prairie and embedded wetlands across the Chenier Plain and Texas Mid-Coast.