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DU gears up for busy conservation project season in Iowa

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IOWA, March 20, 2007 - Ducks Unlimited (DU) will have another busy upcoming conservation project season in Iowa. DU’s work in Iowa is part of the wetland conservation organization’s Living Lakes Initiative. The initiative’s focus is on restoring larger marshes and shallow lakes to provide optimal migration and breeding waterfowl habitat. Restoration of these larger marshes may significantly improve waterfowl hunting on and around these larger marshes as well.

Work currently ongoing includes the Otter Creek project in Tama County, which will provide water delivery to a 3,600-acre wildlife area. DU recently finished three projects in Dickinson County - Diamond Lake, Yaeger Slough and Sidel Marsh - and about 80-percent of the work is completed on the 265-acre Jemmerson Slough project. Dan Green Slough in Clay County, 300 acres, is the next large project on the engineering schedule, and DU has surveyed and completed initial design work for that project. Four Mile Lake in Emmet County is a 215-acre project that is on the docket to be surveyed.

DU is a major partner on the recently submitted Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Prairie Lakes North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) proposal that was approved for funding. This project will garner $1 million in federal funds for acquisition and large marsh restoration in the Prairie Pothole portion of Iowa and provide significant funding to DU for Living Lakes shallow lake projects.

Along the Missouri River, DU is assisting with several other acquisitions in the works by a variety of partners, including the Iowa DNR and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.

During the 2006 fiscal year, DU invested more than $694,000 in Iowa accomplishing 22 projects in nine counties. DU permanently protected 891 acres, restored or enhanced 223 acres and provided technical assistance on another 4,508 acres. Active management of those projects will continue this year.

DU recently submitted the final report for the IA Prairie Waters NAWCA grant, which accomplished over $2.6 million dollars of habitat work in Iowa. This NAWCA project conserved 9,086 acres in 17 counties in northern Iowa including 33 acquisition projects and eight marsh restoration/enhancement projects. DU currently is administering two large ongoing Iowa federal grants including the Middle Missouri River I and II NAWCA grants along the Missouri River in the western part of the state.

To date, DU has invested $9.4 million dollars in Iowa. More than 240 projects have been completed which have conserved over 60,000 acres, which is more than 93 square miles. DU funds its work through grassroots income, Iowa’s major donor program, and public and foundation grants. DU also works closely with many partners such as the Iowa DNR .

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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Contact: Roger Pederson

651.460.2240

or

Becky Jones Mahlum

701.355.3507

 

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