LANSING, Mich. – March 15, 2013 – Ducks Unlimited is anticipating a new source of conservation funding thanks to the passage of bills in Michigan's House of Representatives and Senate supporting a state DU license plate. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and Rep. Dale Zorn championed the bills and, if enacted, funds generated by license plate sales will support wetland habitat conservation across the state.
"We're pleased to see there was unanimous support for the Michigan Ducks Unlimited
specialty license plate," said Rebecca Humphries, director of DU's Great Lakes/Atlantic Region. "It's a testimony to the sponsorships of Senator Richardville and Representative Zorn, and shows that Michiganders understand the importance of the work DU staff, partners and volunteers do for wetlands, waterfowl and the citizens of our great state."
Ducks Unlimited will use proceeds from license plate sales to support conservation and outreach activities highlighting the importance of wetlands in the state of Michigan. Wetlands restoration, protection and enhancement benefit waterfowl and wildlife, as well as 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 Ducks Unlimited specialty plate creates a healthier Michigan environment, Michigan jobs and increased recreational opportunities for Michigan residents and tourists," Richardville said.
"Our state continues to be a destination for those who seek the great outdoors," Zorn said. "Our lakes offer amazing recreation opportunities and our forests and fields benefit hunters and hikers alike.
House Bill 4337 will help finance additional conservation funding—without creating any new taxes—to support wildlife management efforts that will reap economic rewards for Michigan."
Ducks Unlimited leverages funds to obtain additional federal and state dollars, such as those available through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the 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 DU license plate would follow other states that have similar legislation, including Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
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.