Painesville, OH – July 5, 2006 – Grand River Partners, Inc., a land conservancy located in Painesville Ohio, has presented Ducks Unlimited (DU) Biologist, Heather Braun with their 2005 “Partner of the Year Award”. The award was given in recognition of proactive commitment, effective leadership, and energetic dedication to land protection throughout the Grand River Watershed. Ms. Braun worked with the Grand River Partners and several other conservation agencies and organizations to receive a $1 million grant from the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (NAWCC) to conserve wetlands and associated habitats throughout the Grand River watershed in Northeast Ohio.
According to Eddie Dengg, executive director of Grand River Partners, “Ms. Braun’s leadership helped secure a significant source of funding to support the ongoing conservation efforts in the Grand River Watershed.” Seven different partners will use this $1,000,000 grant and $2,005,064 in matching funds to protect and restore over 1,700 acres of critical habitat in this important region of Ohio. Grand River Partners, Inc. is a non-profit land trust working with landowners to protect the water quality, scenic, recreational, agricultural and natural resources of the Grand River Watershed. The group has protected 1,972 acres in the Grand River Watershed, and in partnership with 30 other organizations, has helped to preserve over 25,000 acres of important wetlands, streams, and wildlife habitat. In order to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the wild experience of safely swimming, fishing and canoeing in the solitude of the Grand River, much more sensitive land in the watershed must be permanently protected.
The Grand River Watershed is part of the larger Lake Erie Watershed, which has been established as one of DU’s highest conservation priorities in the Great Lakes region. “This area provides valuable habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife in a rapidly developing area of the state,” says Braun. “The Grand River Partners have established a strong coalition of partners dedicated to habitat conservation, DU is proud to be among them.”
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest wetlands and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands – nature’ s most productive ecosystems – and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.