"As a conservationist, you know the soul-satisfying thrill of a day on the marshes, far from the strain of office duties and the hustle and bustle of crowded city streets. Certainly there are few sites more enthralling and gratifying than the wild beating wings of colorful game birds in the free air of our land. This is the heritage which we have the obligation to preserve and if possible to improve so that we may pass it on with pride to our children and our children's children."
These words were published in an early publication of our organization called Our Winged Heritage
. Generations after those words were penned, New York Ducks Unlimited continues as a pillar of the conservation movement.
The legacy of DU's "singleness of purpose" is more than 12 million acres of restored and protected habitat. Early pioneers who formed the backbone of the modern-day conservation movement would be pleased with the result. They would also encourage us all to maintain viligence as our watchword, and remind us that all good things come to an end only when we think of the job as done.
"Completing the Cycle"—embarking on the next 75 years of conservation
Completing the Cycle (CTC)
is a landscape level initiative that will improve the health of wetlands and watersheds using waterfowl habitat conservation objectives. These objectives will provide multiple benefits to society including water filtration, groundwater recharge, flood abatement, sustained fisheries, reduced storm water run-off and sedimentation, as well as recreation. CTC will provide DU with the required flexibility to focus on priority science, policy, and habitat by coordinating fundraising efforts along with expanding partnerships.
Migratory waterfowl require a wide variety of habitats over broad geographical areas to survive and flourish as they move with the seasons. The CTC Initiative will address the needs of over 7.6 million Atlantic Flyway waterfowl from Eastern Canada, the Hudson Bay and the St. Lawrence Valley through New England, New York and Pennsylvania and the Great Lakes to wintering grounds in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays.
This holistic approach will focus conservation actionson the most important factors limiting waterfowl populations. Science will guide the way, helping identify the highest priority conservation areas. These actions will increase waterfowl populations and wetland acreage while resulting in strategic, cost-effective investments across the region. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the landscape can support and sustain birds in a healthy condition throughout the year so they can "complete the cycle" and return to the breeding grounds to successfully reproduce.
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