RICHMOND, TX., July 25, 2011 – Nestlé Waters North America
recently pledged a gift of $250,000 to Ducks Unlimited to continue support of DU wetland conservation programs in high priority areas like the Gulf Coast
"Nestlé Waters North America recognizes that by protecting and improving wetlands that provide critical habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife, they are also protecting important water resources," Sean Stone, DU Director of Development, said. "Given the mutual environmental stewardship commitment of the world leader in wetlands conservation
and the U.S. leader in bottled water, this is a natural partnership."
The partnership began when DU was asked to assist with efforts to improve habitat around the springs and associated wetlands that support Nestlé Waters' Ozarka® Spring Water brand facility in Hawkins, Texas. DU biologists visited Nestlé Waters' 2,000-acre Wood County property to assess the wetlands and make recommendations for improving waterfowl habitat.
"We spend about $8 million annually to maintain and protect the quality of our company's spring water sources and their immediate watershed areas in the U.S. and Canada," said David Feckley, Nestlé Waters North America Senior Natural Resource Manager. "Approximately 14,000 acres of land around our spring sources are managed as open space, providing environmental benefits to local communities. Since wetland areas are often associated with our properties, conserving wetland habitats also helps improve watersheds. DU's partnership helps us ensure our spring water collection continues to be done in a sustainable manner that supports associated wetland environments."
Following DU's initial partnership with Nestlé Waters North America in Hawkins, Nestlé Waters expanded their support to wetlands restoration efforts along the entire Texas Gulf Coast
"Not only does Nestlé Waters North America desire to improve habitats on their own lands, but the company also sees the bigger picture," Dale James, Ph.D., DU Manager of Conservation Planning, said. "They have been managing excellent wetland habitat on their east Texas properties for years to provide significant resources for waterfowl in the fall and winter and for other wildlife species throughout the seasons. Nestlé Waters' recent gift will fund science-based activities within DU's Southern Region and allow DU to continue to monitor and evaluate delivery of habitat programs within the region."
Ducks Unlimited will use the funds to synthesize existing data and develop new data that reduce uncertainties surrounding waterfowl science, aiding in conservation planning and delivery in the region.
"Ducks Unlimited has always based our direct habitat delivery programs on the best science available
," James said. "Nestlé Waters North America's support will allow DU to ensure effective and efficient habitat work along the Gulf Coast, benefiting continental waterfowl populations by making sure we sufficiently provide the resources they need on their wintering grounds."
"It is an important priority at Nestlé Waters North America to ensure that our springs and their surrounding eco-systems maintain their health and integrity long-term," said Feckley. "We are so pleased to have the opportunity to provide this funding to DU, whose conservation efforts are unparalleled across the nation. We look forward to this new phase in our partnership and to the goal of improving and conserving wetland habitats across the country."
About Nestlé Waters North America
With 35 years of experience with healthful hydration in the bottled water segment, Nestlé Waters produces six regional spring water brands in the U.S., three international brands, and Nestlé Pure Life, its nationally distributed purified bottled water. Sales for Nestlé Waters North America topped $4 billion in 2010. The company's dedication to quality, employee development, seeking to bring shared value to communities, and its commitments to environmental stewardship, especially in the areas of water use, energy and packaging, has led Nestlé Waters to the number one bottled water position in the U.S.
About Ducks Unlimited
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.