Gift will help restore wetlands damaged by hurricanes
Lafayette, La., February 23, 2007 – Ducks Unlimited will restore critical wintering waterfowl habitat in Coastal Louisiana with the help of a $100,000 gift from the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation. Louisiana’s coastal marshes host up to 20 percent of the nation’s wintering waterfowl. Each year, more than 10 million ducks and geese winter on Louisiana’s coast.
Jack McCarty, Director of Development, Ducks Unlimited; Greg Probst, Director of Communications, FMI; Daniel Ajamiseba, Manager of External Development, FMI; Cynthia Molyneux, President Freeport McMoRan Foundation; Jim Miller, VP Safety and Environmental Affairs, FMI; Jerry Holden, Director Conservation Programs LA, Ducks Unlimited.
“Ducks Unlimited is one of the organizations leading the effort to protect and restore vital coastal habitat,” said Richard Adkerson, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold’s president and chief executive officer. “We applaud DU’s hands-on approach and its ability to use our contributions to attract more federal and private money. We see this as an investment in Louisiana’s future.”
The Louisiana Coastal Conservation Initiative is one of nine initiatives in DU’s $1.7 billion Wetlands For Tomorrow capital campaign. DU committed to raising $15 million following hurricanes Katrina and Rita for conserving and restoring Louisiana’s coastal marshes. This gift will help DU reach its goal.
In addition to marsh restoration, the Foundation’s contribution will act as match money to secure additional dollars through federal grants and private donations for DU’s conservation efforts along the coast. DU will work with conservation partners to implement landscape-scale improvements to restore the natural marsh building processes of the Mississippi River.
“Human and natural influences have greatly impacted the coastal marsh ecosystem of southern Louisiana,” said Jerry Holden, DU’s director of conservation programs for Louisiana. “We’re working to restore the natural system that builds healthy marshes and the habitat work made possible by the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation’s gift will benefit wildlife and the citizens of Louisiana.”
While important to millions of wintering waterfowl, Louisiana’s coastal wetlands also support important commercial fisheries, provide outdoor recreation opportunities and protect people by holding floodwaters and slowing storm surge.
The Freeport-McMoRan Foundation is associated with Freeport Copper & Gold Inc. and McMoRan Exploration Company. The purpose of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life in the areas where company employees live and work and to support national organizations focused on social welfare, health care, the arts and the environment. Visit www.mcmoran.com for more information.
Contact: Jennifer Kross
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with almost 12 millions acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands – nature’s most productive ecosystem – and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.