CHICAGO – May 18, 2010 – Ducks Unlimited volunteer Barbara Johnson traveled from Chicago to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with congressional leaders and discuss wetlands conservation issues. Johnson and DU staff members sat down with Illinois representatives and their staffs to explain the benefits of North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants for Illinois and the North American waterfowl population.
"There are currently 27 NAWCA projects either completed or are underway in Illinois and we visited with these congressmen, senators and their staffs to remind them of the benefits NAWCA offers Illinois residents," Johnson said. "DU is the only waterfowl-and-wetlands-oriented organization that has a voice in D.C., and we went to Capitol Hill to use that voice effectively for everyone's benefit."
Johnson met with members of Rep. Mark Steven Kirk's office, Sen. Roland Burris's staff and Sen. Richard Durbin on May 12. With more than $7.2 million in NAWCA funding, generating partner contributions of more than $28.2 million, NAWCA has been able to conserve 28,170 acres of wildlife habitat in Illinois.
"Every group of DU volunteers and staff we host during Capitol Hill visits reacts positively to the experience and they fill an important role in educating Congress and their staff," said Scott Sutherland, director of DU's Governmental Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. "These meetings are highly productive and show members of Congress that people pay attention to effects on waterfowl which stem from their legislative decisions."
Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, 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.