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DU recognizes four states for significant financial contributions

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During its annual Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards breakfast last week, Ducks Unlimited recognized four state agencies for significant investments toward conserving waterfowl breeding habitat in Canada.

The program to provide state support for waterfowl breeding habitat projects in Canada was initiated by Ducks Unlimited as one of the first international public/private partnerships to support migratory bird conservation. After the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) was signed in 1986, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies became a lead partner to help the states achieve the NAWMP goals. Contributions from states are matched by DU Inc. and DU Canada, as well as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).

“The importance of state grants contributions to Canadian habitat conservation and restoration projects cannot be overstated,” said Pat Kehoe, DU Canada’s director of international partnerships. “Individual state contributions are combined with other state contributions, matched dollar for dollar by DU Inc. and DU Canada, and then used as match for North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants.”

Participating states have contributed more than $75 million to improve Canadian waterfowl habitat. A successful waterfowl nesting effort in Canada is instrumental in strong migrating populations in the U.S. each year.  
The state agencies recognized during the breakfast were:
•    Illinois Department of Natural Resources for a cumulative contribution of $10 million
•    Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for a cumulative contribution of $10 million
•    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for a cumulative contribution of $5 million
•    Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for a cumulative contribution of $1 million

“This program started in 1965 as one of the very first international public-private partnerships to support migratory bird conservation,” said DU Chief Conservation Officer Paul Schmidt. “Since the passage of NAWCA in 1989, this program has taken on added significance as an important source of non-federal U.S. matching funds for habitat conservation projects in Canada, and the effort has been led by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. This is a truly continental partnership that helps form the bedrock of the NAWMP.”

To view a complete list of the 2013 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award winners, please visit www.ducks.org.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. 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 13 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. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.

Media Contact:
Matt Coffey
(901) 758-3764
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