Ducks Unlimited focuses its Living Lakes Initiative
on conserving the shallow-lake habitats of Minnesota and Iowa. This high priority landscape got a big boost recently when both houses of the Iowa legislature approved $8.6 million for the Lake Restoration Fund.
Initially, Iowa’s governor had requested only $1 million, the House had requested $6 million and the Senate had requested the full $8.6 million for the fund. So Ducks Unlimited policy advocates, including Iowa State Policy Chair Jon Kruse, volunteers led by State Chair Frank Mertz and DU staff – with the support of BrownWinick Attorneys at Law – set to work to ensure the highest-possible funding.
DU shared information with legislators highlighting the economic and environmental impact of the region’s waterfowl habitat. The program will now realize record funding of $8.6 million due to the great advocacy work of Team DU, as well as legislative leaders Sen. McCoy and Rep. Huseman.
“Funding for Iowa’s lake restorations – a long and successful program – was really under threat,” said Gildo Tori, DU director of public policy for the Great Lakes Region. “It was very important for us to share the truth about how important these lakes are to Iowans. They support waterfowl and other wildlife, but they also provide recreation for people. They are a real treasure and I’m proud of the legislature for putting them at such a premium.”
The final chapter in this appropriations challenge is the governor’s signature, expected at any time.