LAFAYETTE, La., Nov. 1, 2011 –
Representatives of Ducks Unlimited and several partner organizations gathered today at Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area to celebrate the completion of a $1.2 million coastal restoration project in southeast Louisiana
and to dedicate it to Ron and Jackie Bartels of Schriever. More than 100 people attended the dedication event.
"Ducks Unlimited is pleased to recognize the Bartels' unyielding commitment to conservation by dedicating the Grand Bayou Unit project to them," said DU Executive Secretary Dan Thiel. "Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA is one of the most popular public lands for waterfowl hunting in the state, and it is only fitting that Ron's and Jackie's conservation legacy be tied to it."
The Bartels' are well-known in the conservation arena for their pursuit of an impressive list of international game species as well as for their dedication to conservation organizations such as the Safari Club International and Ducks Unlimited. Ron has been an active DU volunteer for many years and currently serves as the Advisory Senior Vice President for Membership.
"If you're going to harvest game, you absolutely must give back to the resource," says Ron, manager at Eagle Consulting, LLC and Facilities, Inc.
He and Jackie have impressed upon their children and grandchildren the importance of a strong conservation ethic. At last count, 35 members from four generations of the Bartels family are carrying forward a passion for conservation through active support and involvement in organizations like Ducks Unlimited. "It makes me feel great that everybody is involved," Jackie said.
The Grand Bayou project restored hydrology on approximately 3,255 acres of coastal marsh habitat through the installation of water control structures and levee work. In addition to enhancing public hunting opportunities on one of the most popular areas in the state, the work enables LDWF managers to restore and maintain coastal marsh vegetation and salinity levels that support migratory waterfowl, shorebird and neo-tropical songbird populations, resident mottled ducks and myriad other marsh-dwelling species.
"This project is a premier example of Ducks Unlimited's work to restore vital Gulf Coast marshes," Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham said. "The efforts of all partners involved greatly assist Wildlife and Fisheries' efforts to efficiently and effectively manage the area for waterfowl and a wide variety of fish and other wildlife."
"Anytime we are able to advance coastal restoration projects and mesh them with increased opportunities for wildlife management, it's a win-win situation. And this project accomplishes both objectives," Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne said.
The project, led by Ducks Unlimited, is a cooperative effort among 17 partners, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, the LDWF, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Abita Brewing Company, Irene W. & C.B. Pennington Foundation, TransCanada Corporation, ExxonMobil Foundation, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation, Go-Devil Manufacturers of Louisiana – Warren Coco, Safari Club International – Louisiana Chapter, Trapp Cadillac-Chevrolet, Inc. – Heinke Trapp, Songy's Sporting Goods – Barry Songy, Matthew Hagen, Dr. Ted Price, Pierre Olivier, and Bobby and Linda Burguieres.
Ducks Unlimited 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 12 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.