Federal NAWCA grant supports long-term wetlands conservation
GREENVILLE, N.C., August 26, 2010 – Ducks Unlimited and partners recently completed wetlands restoration work in east-central North Carolina funded in part by a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant. Partners including Ducks Unlimited, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund, and Neuse River Investments, LLC provided $2,221,807 in funding to complement the $999,067 NAWCA grant.
“This project focuses on enhancing emergent estuarine habitat, a decreasing wetland type,” said Craig LeSchack, Ducks Unlimited director of conservation programs. “These wetlands provide feeding habitat for many wetland-dependent species including migrating and wintering waterfowl in the Atlantic Flyway, neotropical migrants and other migratory and non-migratory waterbirds.”
This grant is an important part of ongoing conservation efforts in coastal North Carolina and improved habitat on both public and private lands in the Neuse-Pamlico region including more than 1,000 acres within the Goose Creek Game Lands.
“This area provides some of the most important managed habitat under state ownership for northern pintails and American black ducks,” LeSchack said. “In addition, the area is at the southern end of the breeding range for black ducks, which nest on the Goose Creek Game Lands.”
Like all Ducks Unlimited projects, the partners involved in the Neuse-Pamlico project made it possible.
“This is a unique project because it provides a solution to protecting the habitat values and management capabilities of several of a limited number of emergent estuarine marsh impoundments along the North Carolina coast,” said Tommy Hughes, supervising wildlife biologist-coastal region public lands with NCWRC.
The proposal area also ties into current wetland conservation efforts funded by a previous NAWCA grant, thus providing landscape-scale wetland conservation.
“This proposal will aid in linking these areas by enhancing a valuable and distinct emergent estuarine habitat system,” Hughes said.
In Washington, D.C., Ducks Unlimited’s governmental affairs staff works with Congress to garner support for annual funding of NAWCA. To date, NAWCA has helped fund more than 2,015 wetland projects on 25.7 million acres in all 50 states, every province of Canada, and areas in Mexico. In North Carolina, projects supported by NAWCA have conserved more than 68,000 acres.
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.