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Latest NAWCA Grant Leverages Funds, Triples Dollars Spent in SE Wisconsin

Funding received for wetland conservation, restoration work in Southeast Wisconsin
MILWAUKEE, Wis., April 18, 2011 – Ducks Unlimited and its partners recently received a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant to protect, restore and enhance 1,836 acres of wetland and associated habitats in several counties in Southeast Wisconsin. The grant will build on four previous phases of successful wetland conservation efforts under the Southeast Wisconsin Coastal Habitat Initiative. 

The SWCHI is a multi-year landscape-scale effort to help meet the habitat objectives for the Lake Michigan and Green Bay watersheds as outlined by the Upper Mississippi River & Great Lakes Region Joint Venture. Funding for the current phase will continue efforts to conserve wetlands and associated upland communities on public and private lands throughout the nine-county project area. Since the first phase of this project, $3.4 million of NAWCA funds have been utilized to generate more than $13 million in matching funds from state and private organizations. Those funds go to local contractors to generate jobs as well as important habitat where Wisconsin citizens can hunt, fish and watch wildlife. The wetland habitats to benefit from this grant are located in the following counties in Southeast Wisconsin: Brown, Calumet, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Washington, and Waukesha.
"The habitat protected and restored through this work will provide critical breeding areas for waterfowl and other grassland nesting birds," says Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist, Jason Hill. "This work will also provide habitat for species of concern and endangered or threatened species, increase recreational opportunities, improve water quality in the Green Bay and coastal Lake Michigan watersheds, and aid flood control and erosion over the long-term." 

A strong coalition of conservation partners have has pooled resources in order to accomplish the conservation objectives set forth in this grant. Ducks Unlimited and its partners; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District; Ozaukee Washington Land Trust; Calumet County; Pheasants Forever; Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin; Baird Creek Preservation Foundation; and The Nature Conservancy joined to offer $3.1 million to match the grant request. 

Wisconsin Congressman Tom Petri acknowledged the importance of DU's work in the area. "Ducks Unlimited is making a real difference in eastern Wisconsin. This multi-phase project conserves wetlands that serve as habitat for waterfowl and fish, provides recreation areas for people, and keeps our drinking water safe and guarding against flooding. I commend Ducks Unlimited for their leadership. They understand that productive wetlands provide an invaluable contribution to our environment, our economy, and our quality of life."

Wisconsin has 58 NAWCA projects either completed or underway. These projects have conserved 119,890 acres of wildlife habitat. NAWCA funding of more than $27 million stimulated partner contributions of more than $85.9 million. In the United States, NAWCA expenditures have created, on average, nearly 3,800 new jobs annually and generated nearly $840 million in worker earnings each year.

Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest non-profit 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.

Kristin Schrader

Related:  wisconsinnews

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