MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 3, 2005 - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper recently announced a $400,000 grant to Ducks Unlimited (DU) for its Sound CARE (Conservation of Agriculture Resources Environment) program to conserve more than 1,800 acres of habitat throughout North Carolina.
The funds will be used to permanently protect 1,000 acres of habitat via conservation easements and/or acquisition. In addition, more than 800 acres of wetlands will be restored on several public areas including Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Mattamuskeet NWR, and North River Game Land.
“These projects will restore wetland habitat on and adjacent to agricultural lands and bottomland hardwood forests,” said Lloyd Goode, DU State Chairman for North Carolina. “This work will improve habitat for many species of wildlife, especially migratory birds such as mallards, black ducks, blue- & green-winged teal and some threatened and endangered species, and will improve water quality, flood retention and recreational opportunities for the public.”
The projects on North River Game Land and Mattamuskeet will commence by December 2005 while the Pocosin Lakes project is scheduled for 2007. Partners involved in these projects include the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The funds were awarded from the Attorney General’s Environmental Enhancement Grant Program. This program is part of an agreement with Smithfield Foods, Inc. that was signed on July 25, 2000. Under this agreement, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and its subsidiary Murphy Brown, LLC agreed to provide $50 million over 25 years to the Attorney General’s office to improve the environment.
This is the second Environmental Enhancement Grant that Ducks Unlimited has received from the Attorney General’s office. In 2004, Ducks Unlimited was awarded $413,000 to restore wetlands on the Roanoke River NWR, Fort Bragg military installation, and Roanoke River Wetlands game land. Work has been completed on the Roanoke River locations and will commence in December 2005 on Ft. Bragg.
Sound CARE is a comprehensive initiative designed to protect, restore, and enhance 64,000 wetland acres in North Carolina and on the breeding grounds of North America by 2009 at a cost of $22 million. So far, DU and partners have achieved approximately 25 percent of that goal.
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 100,000 wetland acres each year.
Look for Ducks Unlimited on the World Wide Web at www.ducks.org. Tune into The World of Ducks Unlimited Radio Network, and starting again in July, watch Ducks Unlimited Television on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN).
Director, Conservation Programs
South Atlantic Office