Executive Vice President, Don Young Testifies on Behalf
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sept. 14, 2006 - Ducks Unlimited (DU) Executive Vice President Don Young today provided testimony in support of reauthorizing the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act (GLFWRA) before the U.S. House of Representatives. The GLFWRA has great potential to expand restoration efforts outlined by the Restoration Strategy that was released by the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration in December of 2005.
Young focused on the importance of the Great Lakes to waterfowl.
“DU’s international conservation plan lists the Great Lakes as a high priority for conservation,” said Young. “Approximately 8 million waterfowl either nest in or use Great Lakes wetlands during some portion of the year, and that is extremely significant among North American habitats.”
The Senate has already passed legislation to reauthorize the Act, and DU hopes that the House will quickly pass the reauthorization after the hearing.
DU was heavily involved in the development of the restoration strategy and the Great Lakes regional collaboration. Young said DU biologists and policy staff identified reauthorization of the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act as a key piece of federal legislation that could assist the region in accomplishing many of the goals listed in its conservation plan.
“The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act is set up to develop and expand partnerships among federal, states, tribes, local governments and NGOs like Ducks Unlimited to get habitat projects delivered on the ground,” said Young. “Restoring and protecting vital habitats is what’s needed to restore the Great Lakes, and the respective fish and wildlife populations upon which so many citizens and communities of the basin rely.”
Young added that the Act doesn’t just benefit the Great Lakes watershed, but many states in the eastern United States. “Mallards raised in the Great Lakes are harvested by every state in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern portion of the country. Restoration work we do in the Great Lakes provides benefits not only to waterfowl, but to other migratory birds, fish and other wildlife, which benefits hunters and non-hunters alike.”
Water-related recreation and healthy fish and wildlife populations fuel a $50 billion dollar economy in the Great Lakes, and a much larger economic picture when you include other states that benefit from Great Lakes migratory wildlife. “Reauthorizing this Act makes great economic sense for the Great Lakes and the eastern states of the US,” Young added.
Contact: Kelli Alfano,
Public Affairs Coordinator
734/623-2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.