In 2011, Ducks Unlimited and its partners were awarded a $1 million grant through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)
to conserve 1,909 acres of wetlands and associated wildlife habitat
in northeastern Ohio
. This project area encompasses two premier waterfowl areas managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
The 7,400-acre Grand River Waterfowl Area and the 9,000-acre Mosquito Creek Waterfowl Area contain several of Ohio's largest and most pristine wetlands. More than 3 million people—43 percent of the state population—reside within 35 miles of this project area, which includes five counties—Ashtabula, Geauga, Portage, Lake, and Trumbull. Agriculture and urban development dominate the landscape and continue to result in wetland drainage, forest fragmentation, streambank erosion, and excessive nutrient loads in streams. This grant will permanently protect emergent, forested, and scrub-shrub wetlands as well as riparian habitat and associated uplands. The increased connectivity of these areas will benefit waterfowl and other wildlife, water quality, waterfowl hunters, and other recreational users. DU's partners in this project include the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Geauga Park District, Trumbull County MetroParks, Portage Park District, Western Reserve Land Conservancy, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.