OTTAWA, Minn. – January 9, 2014 – Ducks Unlimited (DU) is the beneficiary of a $40,000 donation from Unimin Corporation to help protect, restore, and enhance habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife in Minnesota. The gift provides merchandise underwriting at select DU fundraising events and invests in shallow lake habitat through the Living Lakes Initiative.
"Unimin operates two Minnesota mining and processing facilities with conservation in mind. Handling natural resources like they do, Unimin has a unique understanding of the positive environmental impact that wetlands hold,” said Tim Roble, DU Minnesota state chairman."Their support helps DU enhance waterfowl habitat that at the same time provides clean water and sequesters carbon. Unimin has acted as an environmental steward for quite some time, and we’re pleased to begin this meaningful partnership.”
Ducks Unlimited has identified the prairie pothole landscape of Minnesota as a level one conservation priority. Plans for wetland acquisitions, enhancements, restorations and engineering survey and design efforts are underway to maximize the impact on this valuable waterfowl habitat. The generous gift from Unimin will help DU leverage nearly $1.5 million in public grants and an additional $400,000 in private funds provided by DU members and philanthropists. These projects will take place on a series of managed shallow lakes and wetlands in Minnesota that provide high-quality aquatic food and other benefits for migrating and breeding waterfowl.
“In the last 40 years, Unimin has reclaimed and preserved more than 1,500 acres of native prairie grassland, wetlands, and river bottoms along the Minnesota River Valley, following mining operations,” said Reid Gronski, Unimin Ottawa plant manager. "Ducks Unlimited is a great champion of the outdoors, and partnering with them coincides with our conservation ethic. Minnesota is a diverse landscape and we’re excited to engage with DU to enhance and conserve this habitat.”