Ducks Unlimited Honors Senator Thad Cochran for Contributions to Wetland Conservation

JACKSON, Miss., March 26, 2006 –Ducks Unlimited presented Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran with its 2006 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award. This year Senator Cochran, who is a long-time proponent for conservation in North America, stood out as the federal representative deserving this award.

Ducks Unlimited honors Senator Thad Cochran for contributions to wetland conservation.
"Senator Cochran is a strong supporter of protecting migratory bird habitat through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the Wetlands Reserve Program and the Federal Duck Stamp Program," said DU Director of Governmental Affairs Scott Sutherland. "In 1994, DU honored him with its Mississippi Conservationist of the Year Award, and he continues to be a proponent for waterfowl and natural resources in his role on the Senate appropriations and agriculture committees."

Through the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), DU partners with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to restore wetlands and associated habitats in Mississippi and throughout the United States. WRP is a voluntary program that provides eligible landowners with technical assistance and financial incentives to convert flood-prone, marginal agricultural land to its former wetland condition. This program helps landowners protect soil and water resources as well as establish long-term conservation and enhancement of wildlife habitat.

"We need renewed commitment by Congress for WRP to continue to help landowners with wetland conservation in the South," said Ken Babcock, director of operations at DU’s Southern Regional Office. "Senator Cochran’s long-standing support for the conservation provisions of the Farm Bill is a great first step."

This annual conference is a forum for natural resource professionals and provides an opportunity for organizations to honor the achievements of those dedicated to protecting natural resources. Each year, DU is proud to recognize individuals from the U.S., Canada or Mexico who have made exceptional contributions to wetlands and waterfowl conservation in North America.

Contact: Jennifer Kross

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 100,000 wetland acres each year.