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NAWCA grant funds Ducks Unlimited and partners in conservation activities - NY

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Funding received for wetland restoration and enhancement in Northern Montezuma WMA

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – March 20, 2009 - Ducks Unlimited was recently awarded a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to conserve wetland habitat in the Northern Montezuma Wetlands Complex in Wayne, Seneca, and Cayuga Counties of New York. Project partners will restore and enhance 571 acres of wetlands and grasslands and purchase an additional 575 acres in the project boundaries.

“This Northern Montezuma NAWCA is a terrific opportunity for Ducks Unlimited and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to partner on providing over 1100 acres of new habitat for the wildlife and people of New York,” said Doug Gorby, Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist for New York. “NAWCA grants are a crucial funding source for conservation partnerships, allowing Ducks Unlimited to leverage state funds and other partner match with federal dollars to cooperatively restore and enhance hundreds of acres of critical shallow wetland and grassland habitat for the benefit of waterfowl and other migratory birds.”

Ducks Unlimited partnered with NYSDEC, Finger Lakes Pheasants Forever, Friends of Montezuma Wetlands Complex, National Wild Turkey Federation, Vanderbilt Marsh Club, The Nature Conservancy, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to receive matching NAWCA funds.

Approximately $1,346,220 in matching funds from project partners and $663,000 in NAWCA grant funds will restore, protect and enhance emergent wetlands and grasslands critical to waterfowl in central New York. Many of the functions and values of these former wetlands have the potential to be restored by reversing the detrimental drainage and land use trends of the past century.

Work is expected to take place over the next three years, with completion planned in time for the fall migration of 2012.

The partners’ efforts in the project area will restore drained wetlands, enhance existing but degraded wetlands, establish native grasses in former agricultural fields and purchase additional acreage with the potential for future restoration.. The restoration project sites are representative of drained mucklands found across New York. Many of the historical wetlands are organic muck soils that were drained via ditches for agricultural purposes and have been further impacted by transportation projects or other development. The objective is to restore or enhance 571 acres of wetland and native grass and purchase 575 acres of additional lands. The restoration projects will be completed on lands owned by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation with a focus on providing quality habitat waterfowl and other wetland-dependant species. All lands are within the Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area and are open to the public for educational and recreational uses.

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with almost 12 million 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.

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

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