Ducks Unlimited recently received a $375,000 grant from the North Carolina Attorney General's Office through the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program. These funds will be used to acquire land along the Cape Fear River that will be managed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. This is the third grant received by DU in support of its work in the Cape Fear River Basin. Past projects funded by this grant program have been used to restore wetland habitat on agricultural lands and in bottomland hardwood forests, improve water quality, control flooding, and provide public outdoor recreation opportunities.
"The need for clean water is a common denominator, and the attorney general recognizes that. Whether you're a farmer, hunter, fisherman, restaurant owner, or school teacher, everybody depends on clean water," said Craig LeSchack, DU's director of conservation programs in North Carolina
. "This program acknowledges the important role wetlands play in providing clean water and the expertise Ducks Unlimited has in wetlands conservation and restoration
Since 2004, DU has received six Environmental Enhancement Grants totaling more than $1.8 million in support for DU's Sound CARE
initiative. These grants have helped DU conserve important waterfowl habitat on the following public lands: Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, North River Game Land, Lantern Acres Game Land, Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Roanoke River Wetlands Game Land, and the Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge.
These grants are part of a larger agreement reached in 2000 with Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer. Under this agreement, Smithfield Foods Inc. and its subsidiary Murphy Brown LLC agreed to provide $50 million over 25 years to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office to improve the environment. Projects are selected to improve the environment in areas of the state that have high concentrations of hog farms.