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Ducks Unlimited board of directors passes Gulf oil spill resolution

DU scientist provides briefing on oil impacts

DALLAS – May 28, 2010 – As part of Ducks Unlimited's ongoing response to the Gulf oil spill tragedy, its board of directors passed a resolution yesterday that further emphasized the organization's commitment to restoring wetlands along the Gulf Coast.

The resolution was brought to the floor by Mike Benge and Ron Bartels, both of whom are DU board members from Louisiana.

"Obviously, everyone within DU is deeply concerned for the habitat and the people along the Gulf Coast," said DU CEO Dale Hall. "DU made restoration of Gulf Coast wetlands a priority many years ago, and this resolution underscores our commitment to restoring these coastal wetlands in the face of the oil spill. Our board of directors has made it very clear that they want DU to help in any way it can."

The board passed the resolution unanimously after Dr. Tom Moorman, director of conservation planning for DU's Southern Region, provided the group with a scientific overview of how oil affects waterfowl and wetlands.

"Right now, we know that oil is beginning to directly impact the coastal wetlands," Moorman explained. "Our hearts go out to the people of the region. We understand the impact this tragedy will have on their way of life. DU will do everything it can to restore the wetlands for waterfowl, shorebirds, fish and the people who depend on this ecosystem for their livelihoods."

The resolution states the importance of the region for migrating waterfowl—it winters more than 13 million birds in some years—and brings to the forefront three organizational priorities:

  • To partner with agencies, companies and landowners to assist in damage assessment, research and long-term restoration
  • To utilize its scientific and communications expertise to inform its members and the public on the issues affecting wetlands and waterfowl in the region, and their recovery
  • To work with Congress, the presidential administration and the states to develop more effective policies to prevent other catastrophes of this nature, and to restore both lost wetlands and sustainable ecological processes that created those wetlands along the Gulf of Mexico to support the livelihoods and recreational pursuits of those who depend upon and cherish these continentally significant wetland resources

"At this time, we understand that 'top kill' tactics to stop the flow of oil could be working," said Hall. "This is encouraging news. We hope the leak can be stopped so that we can move on to the assessment and restoration phases of this cleanup. DU is ready to work with our partners and federal and state agencies to begin the restoration process."

Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, DU 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. For more information, go to www.ducks.org.

Chris Jennings

Oil spill resources


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