SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Nov. 8, 2012 – Ducks Unlimited's Western Regional Office is celebrating a major milestone in its history: surpassing 100,000 acres of waterfowl habitat conserved or protected in the Pacific Northwest portion of the region.
DU's Western Region is comprised of nine states—Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii—with a central office in Rancho Cordova, Calif., and a satellite office in Vancouver, Wash.
Mark Biddlecomb, director of operations for the Western Region, said DU's conservation projects vary in size, ranging from a few dozen acres to several hundred. He compared the amount of habitat conserved so far to 76,000 football fields. Of the 100,000 acres, more than 14,000 acres are now permanently protected wetlands and another 86,681 acres have been enhanced or restored back to functioning wetlands.
Tom Dwyer, director of conservation programs in the Pacific Northwest, noted that there are accomplishments within accomplishments when it comes to hitting this milestone. "Our Nisqually Estuary Restoration Project in Washington is the largest tidal restoration project ever completed in the Northwest," he explained. "It spanned more than 15 years, and involved more than 900 acres of tidal habitat in the Nisqually Delta. It's considered crucial in aiding the recovery of endangered Chinook salmon in the Nisqually watershed and was honored with the Coastal America Partnership Award for excellence in leadership for protecting, preserving and restoring the nation's coastal resources and ecosystems. This award is the only environmental accolade of its kind to be presented by the president of the United States."
Biddlecomb says the same people who make up the heart of the entire Ducks Unlimited organization are also at the root of this success. "Our volunteers, members and supporters are critical to our conservation efforts," he said. "Without them, none of this would be possible."
The Western Region's conservation goal for 2013 is more than 23,000 acres.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, DU is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, with special events, projects and promotions across the continent. Ducks Unlimited 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 on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.