On Feb. 3, during Ducks Unlimited’s annual state convention in Manahawkin, Don Wilkinson
was honored as Ducks Unlimited’s New Jersey Conservationist of the Year.
Each year the award is presented by the DU Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office to recognize and show appreciation for exceptional conservation and fund-raising efforts on the part of a New Jersey volunteer.
Wilkinson is no stranger to New Jersey DU volunteers or biologists throughout the state, working as a senior wildlife biologist for the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (NJDFW). Wilkinson also serves as a liaison to the New Jersey Duck Stamp Program. From his continued dedication to identifying potential habitat projects through his state job, to his status as a high-flying volunteer and former state chair with New Jersey DU’s Meadow Mavericks Chapter, Wilkinson lives and breathes waterfowl.
“Don has consistently thought of innovative ways to put more high-quality waterfowl habitat on the map in South Jersey,” said Kirk Mantay, DU regional biologist. “He takes pride in bringing DU biologists to the table to discuss new waterfowl projects.”
Wilkinson’s passion for pursuing turkeys and other upland game is second only to his love for wetlands and waterfowl. Over the past 20 years, he has invested significant time and effort in protecting and restoring state lands for wildlife benefit—and the landscape shows it. Hunters, anglers, and birdwatchers who use state lands in southern New Jersey are often unknowingly hiking, paddling, or cruising through project areas previously completed by Wilkinson and his colleagues at NJDFW.
For more information, please contact the Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office at (734) 623-2000.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization, with almost 12 million acres conserved. The United States has lost more than half of its original wetlands—nature’s most productive ecosystem—and continues to lose more than 80,000 acres each year.
Contact: Kelli Alfano
Public Affairs Coordinator
(734) 623-2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org