Ducks Unlimited Celebrates Indiana Wetlands Program

In August, Ducks Unlimited commemorated its Northeast Potholes Program and honored program supporters during a dedication ceremony at Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve in Fort Wayne, Indiana. More than 60 people attended the ceremony, which featured speakers from DU, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Little River Wetlands Project, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

More than 40 donors were honored during the event, including Indiana residents and DU members Bill Dailey, Jr., and Jay Jorgensen for their longtime dedication to wetlands conservation in northern Indiana. Together they have contributed more than $250,000 to habitat conservation efforts.

For more than a decade, the Northeast Potholes Program has been one of DU's most successful conservation efforts in Indiana. The program has restored more than 1,500 acres of native prairie grassland and 500 acres of wetlands through nearly 200 individual projects completed in partnership with government agencies and several other conservation organizations, including the USFWS, DNR, and Pheasants Forever.

Northeast Indiana was historically dotted with countless small wetlands surrounded by large expanses of native grassland, offering high-quality nesting and brood-rearing habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. Much of this habitat has been cleared and drained for agriculture and other developments, but remains available for restoration. In cooperation with conservation-minded private landowners, DU and its partners have restored productive native habitat on numerous projects in this region, benefiting waterfowl and many other wildlife species.