FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kelli Alfano,
Public Affairs Coordinator,
734-623-2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ducks Unlimited Deems Massachusetts Volunteer Geof Walker, Conservationist of the Year
Newbury, MA—March 17, 2006 – Geof Walker will receive the New England “Conservationist of the Year” award for 2005 at the Massachusetts State Meeting to be held in May. “Geof was chosen for this award because of the time, energy and spirit he gives to the conservation of wetland habitat and the waterfowling tradition in coastal New Hampshire and Massachusetts,” states Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist, Patti Reilly.
Geof’s long history with Ducks Unlimited (DU) follows his father “Hank’s” legacy and he has established himself as an “institution” in his own right by being one of the original members of DU in the area, a Life Sponsor, chairing the grassroots fundraising committee, chairing the DU Marsh Committee and contributing artwork that has raised millions of dollars for DU. Geof brings the message of habitat conservation to a broader audience and raises public awareness on current issues that are affecting wetland ecosystems.
Walker has also brought his conservation efforts to local government by acting on the Planning Board, Conservation Commission and Water District of Newbury, his hometown. Through local governance, he has been able to introduce the importance of wetland health and conservation to the groups that have the most influence over the local landscape. He assists Eight Towns and The Bay Land Trust and the Mass Audubon Salt Marsh Planning Team in researching the causes, spread and control of the invasive species Phragmites australis that is rapidly moving into the Great Marsh and degrading wildlife habitat. His commitment to the Great Marsh will someday help to preserve one of the most important staging areas for waterfowl and migratory bird species in New England.
Geof lives with his wife Josette in a beautiful home that he and his father built. His two sons, Nathan and Joshua have been instilled with their father’s love of the Great Marsh and conservation ethics. Geof’s future plans are to continue working on the Great Marsh, assist with research and on-the ground wetland restoration, and to help increase the awareness and role of sportsman in the research, management and conservation dynamics of wetland ecosystems. Ducks Unlimited says, “Thank you Geof!”
With more than one million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. Since it’s founding in 1937, DU has raised more than $1.5 billion and conserved nearly 11 million acres of critical wildlife habitat across North America. Wetlands are nature’s most productive ecosystems, but the United States has lost more than half of its original wetlands and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres every year.