MEMPHIS, Tenn., June 2, 2006 – In the race against time to save North America’s wetlands, Ducks Unlimited and its foundation, the Wetlands America Trust, have announced the launch of the largest wetlands conservation campaign in history. The Wetlands for Tomorrow campaign will raise $1.7 billion over the next five years to conserve North America’s wetlands for future generations.
Jim Kennedy, president of Wetlands America Trust and chairman and CEO of Cox Enterprises, Inc., announced the campaign at the 69th annual Ducks Unlimited convention in Phoenix, Ariz., in front of nearly 1,000 DU members.
|(In front, from left) DU Legacy Greenwing Alan Hughes, III stands with Jim Kennedy, president of Wetlands America Trust, during the announcing for the Wetlands for Tomorrow campaign to raise $1.7 billion for DU conservation work. (Behind, from left) DU Canada Executive Vice President Gord Edwards and Will Primos.|
“I can’t imagine these places going away, and we are not going to let them,” he said. “America’s greatest treasure is the grasslands of the prairies, and wetlands are vital to our existence. I don’t want to have to describe wetlands to my future grandchildren. I want to be able to show them these wonderful places.”
According to Kennedy, DU plays a critical role in protecting wetlands across North America. In his speech, Kennedy said that, “What DU has done in the last 30 years is a miracle.”
However, Kennedy warned the audience that there is much left to be done in the effort to protect these crucial habitats. He asked the audience to stand with him. “The battle is not over,” he said. “This is where we need to make our stand.”
August A. Busch, III, chairman of Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., stressed the timeliness of DU’s response to the conservation crisis at hand. In a video message, Busch said “We are in a race against time, and the world we share is only given to us in trust for our grandchildren.”
Wetlands for Tomorrow will raise funds for nine initiatives that will help DU restore and manage millions of acres of wetlands. Because these initiatives are specific to certain areas of North America, donors will be able to direct their gifts toward regions and projects in which they have a special interest or about which they are particularly concerned.
According to Don Young, executive vice president of Ducks Unlimited, time and effort are of prime importance. “Every 10 minutes in the United States, an acre of wetlands is lost,” he said. “We must reverse this trend, and with this campaign, we know we can do it.”
Gifts can be made online at www.ducks.org/donateonline
Contact: Vicki Tyler
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.