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DU Presents Heritage Award to Ohio Div. of Wildlife

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact:
Kelli Alfano,
Public Affairs Coordinator
734/623-2000 or kalfano@ducks.org

Ducks Unlimited Presents Heritage Award to Ohio Division of Wildlife:
Department Only State Wildlife Agency to Receive this Honor

Eastlake, OH – March 10, 2006 – Ducks Unlimited presented the Ohio Division of Wildlife its Heritage Award at the annual Ohio State Convention last week in Eastlake. The ODNR is the only state wildlife agency to ever receive such an award. The Heritage Award is presented to individuals who contribute $50,000 towards DU’s habitat conservation program in North America, and Ohio is the only resource agency to ever achieve that status.

Dave Graham, assistant chief of the Division of Wildlife, received the award on behalf of the wildlife agency. “Ducks Unlimited is a premier conservation organization that effectively and efficiently puts habitat back on the map,” said Graham. “For the benefit of waterfowl in Ohio, that means we need to be supporting DU’s efforts across North America, where many of our ducks nest, migrate to and spend the winter.”

Graham received the award from David Brakhage, DU’s director of conservation programs in the Great Lakes and Ohio Regional Biologist Heather Braun. “The Ohio Division of Wildlife and DU have a long history of partnering together on wetland projects in Ohio, as well as in key breeding and wintering areas,” said Brakhage. “DU has no better state partner than the Ohio Division of Wildlife, and that fact is known throughout the nation.”

And if it couldn’t get any better, Chief Steven A. Gray announced that the Division will commit an additional $50,000 over the next four years, becoming the first state to reach the Benefactor level of support for Ducks Unlimited.

“I am a firm believer in the mission of Ducks Unlimited. I’ve had the pleasure to view their work throughout North America, and they have an excellent record of conserving habitat where it matters most, and with a partnership attitude that has made programs like the North American Waterfowl Managemen Plan a huge success,” Gray said.

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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