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Ducks Unlimited, partners awarded NAWCA grant in Michigan

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Ducks Unlimited was recently awarded a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to conserve wetland habitat in Big Marsh Lake in Calhoun County, Mich. Project partners will enhance 200 acres of emergent wetlands within the project boundaries. The lake is surrounded by diverse habitat that includes marsh, upland grass and seasonal flooding areas that support thousands of Greater Sandhill Cranes, along with many other species.

"NAWCA grants are a crucial funding source for conservation partnerships such as this one," said Mike Sertle, Ducks Unlimited regional bologist. "Because of this funding opportunity, we will be able to restore Big Marsh Lake to the highly productive wetland it once was, to the benefit of waterfowl and other wildlife."

Ducks Unlimited partnered with Michigan Audubon Society, Kiwanis Club of Battle Creek, Calhoun Conservation District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division to receive matching NAWCA funds.

Approximately $54,000 in matching funds from project partners and $39,000 in NAWCA grant funds will restore, protect and enhance wetlands critical to waterfowl within the Lake Michigan basin.

Work is expected to take place during the summer and fall of 2008.

The partners' efforts in the project area will benefit numerous federal priority bird species including the mallard, northern pintail, American black duck, lesser scaup, greater scaup, wood duck, redhead, canvasback, ring-necked duck, American wigeon, American bittern, black rail, king rail, common moorhen, greater yellowlegs, short-billed dowitcher, American woodcock, willow flycatcher, marsh wren and prothonotary warbler. The work also will provide habitat for federal- and state-listed species including the American bittern, marsh wren, trumpeter swan, king rail, bald eagle, least bittern, Blanding's turtle and Blanchard's cricket frog.

Media Contact:
Kristin Schrader (734) 623-2000; kschrader@ducks.org

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