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Lake Erie Commission selects award recipient

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Ann Arbor, Mich, September 29, 2009 - The conservation organization Ducks Unlimited received the 2009 Lake Erie Award for an outstanding organization at the fall meeting of the Lake Erie Commission in Oregon, Ohio. The award is given to an organization that made outstanding contributions to enhance Ohio’s Great Lake.

“Lake Erie is an exceptional resource,” said Roy Kroll, manager of conservation programs and the Southwest Lake Erie Lands Protection Strategy at Ducks Unlimited. “Ducks Unlimited is proud to accept this award on behalf of all the partners, private landowners, and DU members working to restore and protect its watersheds. We encourage new partners, whether groups or individuals, to join us in our continuing efforts in conservation.”

Ducks Unlimited (DU) has designated Lake Erie as a conservation priority area. Programs focus on the long-term protection of important and threatened wetland habitat, primarily for migratory birds and wetland-dependent wildlife.

Ohio Congressman Bob Latta acknowledged DU achievements in the area. “As a lifelong sportsman, and on behalf of all sportsmen in Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District, I would like to congratulate Ducks Unlimited for receiving the 2009 Ohio Lake Erie Award. Ducks Unlimited works tirelessly to ensure sportsmen across Ohio can continue to enjoy the rich traditions of hunting by promoting and practicing conservation policies that protect and preserve our valuable natural resources. It is only fitting that the time and effort put forth by Ducks Unlimited and its members be recognized with this prestigious award. Because of their extraordinary efforts, Ducks Unlimited continues to protect our proud traditions can so that they can be passed along to future generations of sportsmen.”

Programs at Ducks Unlimited also focus on the acquisition of existing or restorable coastal habitat for inclusion into state or federal wildlife areas.

“DU has played a crucial role in conserving and restoring habitat in the Lake Erie region, which is truly one of the most important waterfowl areas in North America” said Marcy Kaptur (Ohio) “The marshes and wetlands along the Lake Erie shoreline are precious jewels in the ‘Emerald Necklace’ of greenspace around the western basin. As a leader in stewardship and conservation, DU is certainly a most worthy recipient of the Lake Erie Award.”

Since 1985, DU has invested approximately $12.3 million in the Lake Erie watershed for wetlands conservation. DU has partnered with the Ohio Division of Wildlife on almost every large wetland owned by the Division in the watershed, including Metzger’s Marsh, Magee Marsh, Pickerel Creek, Pipe Creek, Grand River, Mosquito Creek and Mallard Club wildlife areas. In addition, DU has worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on multiple wetland restorations within Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge complex. DU has also partnered with other conservation organizations, land conservancies, private landowners and sporting clubs throughout the Lake Erie Watershed to effectively implement wetland conservation on the landscape.

For more information on Ducks Unlimited’s work in the Lake Erie Watershed go to http://www.ducks.org/Conservation/GLARO/3727/PriorityAreas.html#erie

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Kristin Schrader 734-623-2000 kschrader@ducks.org

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