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Ducks Unlimited Raises $95,000 to go to Monroe Area Wetlands

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Major donors and key volunteers step up for ducks and the International Wildlife Refuge

Monroe, Mich., July 3, 2007   Local members of Ducks Unlimited (DU), along with Congressman John D. Dingell, Monroe Bank and Trust, DTE Energy, US Fish and Wildlife Service and other Partners, announce the commitment of $95,000 of new funding for conservation of Lake Erie wetlands, including those that are part of the recently established Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.  The refuge, located along the lower Detroit River and western shoreline of Lake Erie will protect and restore vital fish and wildlife habitats that facilitate and promote hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, environmental education, and wildlife interpretation. 

Individuals and local businesses committed $95,000 in new pledges at a Ducks Unlimited event in Monroe this week.  That will be added to $30,000 already raised by the same group for projects to take place in the Lake Erie watershed, including the International Wildlife Refuge.  The businesses included DTE Energy, Jeb Hasley for Staelgraeve-Turner Electric Inc., Monroe County Community Credit Union, Friendly Ford, and Holcim (US) Inc.  Individual donors were Dave Shefferly, Tracy Oberleiter, Dave Perry, Herb Krueger and Dick Micka.


“Ducks Unlimited and its partners continue to be key allies in conservation both in Monroe and throughout the country,” said Congressman John D. Dingell who authored the legislation creating the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.  “The funding and wetland restoration expertise they bring to partnerships like we have here at the International Wildlife Refuge to conserve our natural resources are extremely valuable and provide results for waterfowlers and nature lovers of all types.  The dedication of DU’s leadership and members towards conservation is what makes Ducks Unlimited the successful organization that it is.”

 
 Ducks Unlimited is involved in several projects in the International Wildlife Refuge, including wetland restoration at the Brancheau Unit.  The Brancheau Unit is a 155-acre parcel located in Monroe County.  It was acquired by the FWS in 2003.  Through a joint effort, DU and the FWS will restore 40 acres of wetlands that had previously been drained.  Wetland hydrology will be restored to this site by breaking drain tiles, constructing a low-level berm and installing a water control structure to emulate natural wetland conditions.  Upon completion, the wetland will be managed to promote the establishment of desirable

native wetland plants that provide habitat for resident and migratory wildlife.  This project and others in Monroe County will provide feeding and resting habitat for the more than 30 species of waterfowl, 17 species of raptors, 31 species of shorebirds, and 160 species of songbirds that migrate annually through the Detroit River corridor.  The Brancheau Unit is owned and managed by the FWS as part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.  

 

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.

 

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