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World Leader in Wetlands Conservation

Tara's Treasures

Sound management and a commitment to conservation have turned a Mississippi River Estate into a world-class wildlife area
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Rebirth of the Bottomlands

The Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) once consisted of a vast, seasonally flooded bottomland forest spanning 24 million acres in seven states, from southern Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico. During the latter half of the last century, however, the construction of elaborate flood-control networks and the subsequent expansion of agriculture took a heavy toll on the MAV's environment. Of the region's original hardwood forest, only 4.5 million acres-or roughly 20 percent-remain today.

For more than a decade, Ducks Unlimited has been at the forefront of wetland conservation in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. The Restoring the Delta initiative, launched in 1999, is dedicated to creating healthier landscapes across this seven-state region for waterfowl, other wildlife, and people. DU is partnering with government agencies, corporations, organizations, foundations, and thousands of private landowners to flood harvested croplands during the winter months, enhance moist-soil and forested wetlands, and restore bottomland hardwood trees.

DU also is permanently protecting thousands of acres of existing habitat by accepting conservation easements donated by private landowners. These efforts not only provide critical habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife, they also help reduce flooding and improve water quality throughout the Mississippi River watershed.

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