More than 3,000 acres improving for Delaware ducks

Several Ducks Unlimited conservation projects throughout Delaware and Delaware Bay are improving the wetland habitat of this important Atlantic Coast migratory stopover point.

Ducks Unlimited and our partners in 2014 received a $1 million North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant. The grant was matched by more than $2 million in private funds from multiple conservation partners, with the original goal to preserve, restore or enhance more than 1,100 acres.

Today the program includes 3,100 acres throughout the state.

Work is starting this summer on a 375-acre wetland at Ted Harvey Conservation Area, one of Delaware's most productive public waterfowl venues. This project in the central part of the state will extend the lifespan of this important coastal impoundment, a habitat feature at risk of being lost along the East Coast as a result of global climate change.

Ducks Unlimited this spring received approval to add three new easement acquisitions in Delaware, totaling 560 acres.

Another major project in the NAWCA grant is Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in central Delaware. The refuge was created nearly 80 years ago in Kent County, along the western shore of the Delaware Bay. Bombay Hook is one of several refuges on the Atlantic Coast which serve as a migratory waterfowl sanctuary.

Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are partnering to enhance more than 500 acres of emergent wetland by updating water-control structures which allow refuge staff to better maintain water levels and habitat quality. The investment will help waterfowlers and birders. Bombay Hook is known among birders as an international hot spot and is recognized as one of America's 100 Important Bird Areas by the American Bird Conservancy.

NAWCA partners include the Delaware Department of Agriculture, Delaware Wild Lands, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and private donors.