ALBANY, N.Y., March 16, 2011 –
Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist Sarah Fleming recently began work in New York to further DU's wetland restoration and conservation
efforts in eastern Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River Valley. Fleming will be responsible for developing and implementing DU's conservation mission and goals in the state through protection, enhancement and restoration of wetlands and adjacent wetland habitat.
"Sarah will be a real asset in New York," said Kurt Dyroff, director of Ducks Unlimited's Annapolis office. "The experience she brings will keep the momentum we have built there going. I look forward to Sarah continuing to build the partnerships that conservation in this tough economic environment requires."
During the past several years, Fleming has worked for federal, state and private organizations devoted to wetlands and waterfowl conservation, working most recently as a mitigation biologist for DU's Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office
. Fleming has experience with delivery and monitoring of numerous wetland systems in New York, a state that has lost more than 60 percent of its original wetland habitat. The Lake Erie and Lake Ontario watersheds have been identified as critical areas for wetland restoration because of the substantial loss in these areas resulting from landscape changes. Wetland restoration benefits a diversity of wildlife and offers ecological and recreational opportunities.
"My knowledge of waterfowl ecology and my experience assisting with the delivery of wetland habitat projects will ensure effective delivery of DU's habitat conservation mission in New York," Fleming said. "I have worked closely with federal and state organizations, private landowners and volunteers, and understand the importance of strong communication skills and cooperative working relationships with partners to ensure effective and efficient delivery of conservation goals. I am eager to continue working with a state that has such a strong tradition of conservation of wildlife habitat."
Fleming holds a Master of Science from Mississippi State University where her graduate work evaluated management of seasonal wetlands for wintering waterfowl on Wetlands Reserve Program lands. She joined DU in 2010 as a mitigation biologist at GLARO. Fleming has spent more than five years working throughout the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways with numerous organizations such as the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Long Point Waterfowl, Bird Studies Canada and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The Great Lakes system is a conservation priority for Ducks Unlimited. The Great Lakes serve as an important breeding ground for waterfowl and a significant migration area for many species of waterfowl and other migratory waterbirds. It is estimated that 3 million ducks migrate through the region each year.
Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest non-profit 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.