Ducks Unlimited Works to Enhance and Restore Habitat
Saybrook, CT– August 14, 2006 – The Atlantic Coast is the most populated and heavily industrialized coastal area in the world. This development causes significant impacts to coastal habitats and the wildlife that depend upon this area for their needs.
Over the past decades, coastal New England has undergone remarkable human population growth and massive urban coastline development that has resulted in dramatic declines in living resources and the large-scale loss and degradation of marine, estuarine, and freshwater habitats. In the North Atlantic, only half the original marshes remain, but many of the remaining marshes have great potential to be restored to more productive systems.
With financial assistance from Ducks Unlimited (DU), the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP) completed the Lynde Point project located near Old Saybrook in Middlesex County. This project restored 10 acres of tidal wetland by removing three and a half acres of fill material, creating one acre of permanent pool habitat, and treating 10 acres of Phragmites. Waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and fish began using the pools soon after they were created. This site is located within an area of international importance according to the RAMSAR Convention and is regionally important to black ducks. Ducks Unlimited partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration- Community-Based Wetland Restoration Program to provide funds for construction.
“The restoration of salt marsh and open water habitat, such as deeper pools and shallow panes, provides protective and productive foraging areas for waterfowl, game fish, baitfish and migrating shorebirds and wading birds,” said Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist, Craig Ferris. “The American black duck in particular depends heavily upon salt marshes and tidal flats for feeding and resting during migration and wintering.”
Other partners include the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which is part of US Dept of Agriculture, the Town of Fenwick, the Fenwick Point Land Trust, CT DEP, Connecticut Wetland Reserve Program and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. 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.