LANSING, Mich. – Feb. 28, 2013 – Ducks Unlimited applauds bill introductions by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and Rep. Dale Zorn to create a DU specialty license plate, ensuring funding for
conservation in Michigan
. If enacted, funds generated by license plate sales will support wetland habitat conservation
across the state.
"The need for funding directly allocated to wetland habitat
conservation is great; approximately 50 percent of our wetlands in Michigan have been lost," said Rebecca Humphries, director of DU's Great Lakes/Atlantic Region. "Ducks Unlimited thanks Senator Richardville and Representative Zorn for sponsoring and leading this effort to ensure a funding mechanism for the important work DU staff, partners and volunteers do for wetlands, waterfowl and the people of Michigan."
Ducks Unlimited will use proceeds generated by the license plate to support conservation and outreach activities highlighting the importance of wetlands in the state of Michigan. Wetland restoration, protection and enhancement benefit waterfowl and wildlife, and the millions of Michigan citizens who use them for clean drinking water and recreation. In addition, these activities stimulate the state's economy, as businesses and contractors support DU's efforts across the state, creating a win-win situation economically and ecologically.
"The benefits of a Ducks Unlimited specialty plate include Michigan jobs, a healthier Michigan environment and increased recreational opportunities for Michigan residents and tourists," said Richardville.
"I was pleased to help lead this effort in support of Ducks Unlimited," Zorn said. "DU is an organization that puts their money directly into habitat that benefits the sportsmen and women of the state, as well as our environment and economy."
Ducks Unlimited leverages funds to obtain additional federal and state dollars, such as those available through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and North American Wetlands Conservation Act
, and uses them to enhance and restore wetlands across the state. In addition to government sources, DU receives support from corporate and private sponsors, and typically leverages every dollar at least four times, maximizing the returns for the Great Lakes state.
A Michigan Ducks Unlimited license plate would follow other states that have similar legislation, including Wisconsin
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 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. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.