FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Russ Terry,
734-623-2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Affairs Coordinator,
734-623-2000 or email@example.com
Ducks Unlimited and Partners Conserve 4,125 Acres of Wetlands and Grasslands in the Saginaw Bay Watershed
Ann Arbor, MI – May 24, 2006 - Ducks Unlimited and a coalition of seventeen conservation partners have conserved 4,125 acres of wetland and associated grassland habitat on public and private lands across the 22-county Saginaw Bay Watershed. Funding for Phase II of the Saginaw Bay Wetland Initiative came from a $1,000,000 federal grant from the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (NAWCC) awarded to Ducks Unlimited in 2001. Ducks Unlimited accepted this grant on behalf of the partnership that together pledged $4.07 million in matching funds toward the grant. This project was undertaken under the Michigan Joint Venture Group, organized in support of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and built on the success and expanded conservation efforts of the Phase I Saginaw Bay Wetland Initiative completed in 2004 that resulted in the conservation of an additional 4,178 acres of wetland and grassland habitat in the Saginaw Bay watershed.
Partners in Phase II of the Saginaw Bay Wetland Initiative:
Ducks Unlimited Michgan Duck Hunters Association
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Kantzler Foundation
Natural Resources Conservation Service Hampton Township
Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan The Nature Conservancy
General Motors Flint River Dike Board
Shiawassee Flats Citizens and Hunters Assoc. Michigan United Conservation Clubs
Bay Area Community Foundation Private Landowners
Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network Pheasants Forever
The purpose of this conservation effort was to protect, restore and enhance wetland and associated grassland habitat throughout the watershed to provide breeding and migration habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, neotropical songbirds, federal and state threatened and endangered species and other wildlife. Associated benefits of this work include improved water quality in Saginaw Bay and its tributaries and increased recreational opportunity for Michigan residents. More than 200 conservation projects were completed under the Phase II Initiative.
The partnership permanently protected 1,631 acres of either existing or restorable wetland habitat through donation, conservation easements and fee-title acquisition. Important habitat was protected at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, nine Michigan Department of Natural Resources managed areas (Fish Point, Tobico Marsh, Wigwam Bay, Wildfowl Bay, Shiawassee River, Quanicassee, Verona, Gratiot-Saginaw and Sanilac), and on lands now owned by the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy, Hampton Township and Saginaw-Chippewa Indian tribe of Michigan.
The restoration or enhancement of 1,713 acres of wetland and grassland habitat occurred at 13 Michigan Department of Natural Resources managed areas (Fish Point, Nayanquing Point, Shiawassee River, Verona, Gagetown, Rush Lake, Scharf Mini, Rieck Mini, Quanicassee, Wigwam Bay, Wildfowl Bay, Crow Island and Tobico Marsh) and on property owned by the Flint River Dike Board. In addition, 781 acres of wetlands and associated nesting grasslands were restored on privately owned land through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s – Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.
Ducks Unlimited and its partners extend their sincere appreciation to the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for support and funding of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, which made these conservation projects possible.
With more than one million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. Since its founding in 1937, DU has raised more than $1.5 billion and conserved more than 11 million acres of critical wildlife habitat across North America. Wetlands are nature’s most productive ecosystems, but the United States has lost more than half of its original wetlands and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres every year.