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DU and Pioneer Hi-Bred partner to expand wetland conservation in Iowa

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DES MOINES, Iowa, March 29, 2007 – Thanks to a $5,000 grant from Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., waterfowl hunters and outdoor enthusiasts can look to find more wildlife on Living Lakes wetland projects being completed by Ducks Unlimited (DU) in Iowa. With this new financial assistance to Living Lakes, DU is pleased to partner with Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. to expand and promote wetland conservation.

DU’s Living Lakes Initiative was conceived to highlight and correct the poor ecological health of larger marshes and shallow lakes in Iowa. Vital to this effort is support from corporate and foundation partners who are needed to help fulfill the conservation objectives of the Initiative.

“Corporate and foundation funding has helped boost DU’s wetland conservation effort as part of the Living Lakes Initiative,” said Roger Pederson, DU manager of conservation programs for Iowa. “With the support of partners such as Pioneer, DU will be able to leverage their donations to secure additional federal grants for conservation work in the state.”

“Pioneer is committed to helping improve the quality of life in the communities where our customers and employees live and work,” said Kelly Monier, Pioneer sales representative. “We focus our philanthropic efforts on organizations, like Ducks Unlimited, that support our strategic focus areas of agriculture, education and farm safety.”

Iowa Living Lakes projects currently ongoing include the Otter Creek project in Tama County, which will provide water delivery to a 3,600-acre wildlife area. Recently finished projects in Dickinson County include Diamond Lake, Yaeger Slough and Sidel Marsh. A fourth Dickinson County project, Jemmerson Slough, is about 80-percent complete. Dan Green Slough in Clay County is the next large project on the Living Lakes engineering schedule where DU has completed the survey and initial design work. Four Mile Lake, a 215-acre project in Emmet County, is on the docket to be surveyed next.

Many species of wildlife will benefit from the projects, especially migrating ducks and shorebirds that rely on large wetlands to replenish energy and nutrient reserves depleted during their long flight through Iowa in spring and fall. Several shorebird species and at least one duck species, lesser scaup, are in decline continentally, and it is critical to improve and protect the wetlands they rely upon.

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.

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Look for Ducks Unlimited on the World Wide Web at www.ducks.org. Tune into The World of Ducks Unlimited Radio Networ, and watch Ducks Unlimited Television on Versus.

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