- $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant awarded to 15 partners
- Matching funds brings total investment to $3.5 million
- Two-year grant will conserve 1,400 acres of wetland habitat
- Projects will enhance habitat and recreational opportunities in 17 counties
Des Moines, Iowa – April 29, 2016 – Ducks Unlimited and 14 partners have been awarded a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect 1,400 acres of endangered wetland habitat in northern Iowa.
With matching funds from partnering organizations, the project will invest $3.5 million into 10 project sites in Iowa. Ducks Unlimited facilitated the grant.
"This is the fourth phase of an ongoing multi-million dollar conservation partnership aimed at protecting, restoring and enhancing critical wetland and migratory bird habitat throughout Iowa's northern Prairie Pothole Region," said Michael Shannon, Ducks Unlimited regional biologist.
In addition to protecting wildlife habitat, the projects will enhance public recreational access to land in 17 counties. Iowa ranks 49th in the country for the amount of public lands available to residents. All 1,400 acres will be open to fishing, hiking, bird watching, paddling and nature study. Eight of the 10 project sites will be open to hunting.
More than 95 percent of Iowa's original estimated four million acres of prairie pothole wetlands are drained or severely degraded. This grant project will provide critical breeding, foraging and migration habitat for 10 priority waterfowl species and benefit several other priority bird species.
Partners include Clay County Conservation Board, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Dickinson County Water Quality Commission, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Dickinson County Conservation Board, Clay County Pheasants Forever, Linda and Mike Knudtson, Pocahontas County Conservation Board, Pocahontas County Pheasants Forever, Oneota Conservation Foundation, Greg Currell, Maser Family Foundation, Dickinson County Clean Water Alliance, and Jarden Corp, Pure Fishing.
Projects are scheduled for Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Franklin, Hancock, Humboldt, Kossuth, O'Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Winnebago, Worth and Wright Counties.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13.6 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.