FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kelli Alfano, Public Affairs Coordinator
734/623-2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ducks Unlimited and its Partners Plan a 60-acre Wetland Restoration Project for Salt Creek
Decatur, IL – July 24, 2006 – The Illinois River watershed covers 28,500 square miles and is a home to over 11 million people. Storm water run-off from farms and urban areas within the watershed can sometimes carry excess sediment and nutrients that affect downstream water quality in the Illinois River, the Mississippi River, and ultimately, the Gulf of Mexico. Healthy wetlands, grasslands and forests help slow down run-off, trap pollutants and provide habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife.
Because of its importance to both wildlife and people, Ducks Unlimited (DU) has made the Illinois River watershed a focus area of its efforts to conserve, preserve and restore wetlands. DU’s goal is to find cost-effective ways of restoring wetland sites within the watershed that will help improve water quality and address the needs of waterfowl. One such project currently under development is the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area.
A collaborative effort between DU, the Illinois Waterfowlers Alliance, Clinton Lake Waterfowl Association, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), the Salt Creek project will restore up to 60 acres of wetland habitat adjacent to Clinton Lake in DeWitt County. Funding for the project is being provided by grants from the Illinois state duck stamp program, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and The Lumpkin Family Foundation, with additional support from DU major donors and a partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
In addition to restoring valuable wetland habitat for migrating waterfowl and other wildlife, the Salt Creek project will help improve water quality by capturing run-off from adjacent croplands before entering Clinton Lake. Once the project is completed, IDNR plans to maintain the project site as a future waterfowl management area under a long-term agreement with Exelon utility company.
“The Salt Creek wetland restoration project is an excellent example of what can be accomplished through conservation partnerships. DU is committed to working with farmers, industry and other landowners to demonstrate the value of wetlands in addressing water quality concerns. Clean water is important to everyone,” said Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist, Eric Schenck.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature’s most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.