Memorandum of understanding will ensure future partnerships throughout Mississippi River Valley

Memorandum of understanding will ensure future partnerships throughout Mississippi River Valley

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Nov. 25, 2008 - Ducks Unlimited and the Mississippi Valley Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cemented an enduring partnership by signing a memorandum of understanding on Nov. 24, 2008.

This Regional MOU ties six districts within the Corps’ Mississippi Valley Division and three DU Regional Offices into one team for environmental success in protecting, restoring and managing habitat in the U.S.

”I want to congratulate the Corps of Engineers and Ducks Unlimited on this agreement and their commitment to America’s water resources,” said Rep. John Boozman (AR), ranking Member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the Army Corps of Engineers.  “By widening the circle of knowledge and influence on these issues, we are that much closer to achieving our goals of finding the best and most responsible uses for our waterways.”

Boozman continued, “We all benefit by this sharing of minds, and I look forward to working closely with both groups in this new collaboration.”

“A partnership between the Corps and Ducks Unlimited makes sense, because as two organizations, we can work collaboratively toward a common goal. A major portion of our Corps mission is preserving our Nation’s environment,” said Col. Tom Smith, the Corps’ Memphis District commander.

The purpose of the MOU is to solidify the collaborative effort of both organizations by working toward mutual goals to protect, restore and enhance the environment.

“This is an important step for both of our organizations as we share overlapping and important goals for the entire Mississippi River watershed,” said Dr. Alan Wentz, Senior Group Manager of Conservation, Communications and Marketing for Ducks Unlimited.

This Regional MOU builds on the National MOU signed in July 2002 with a specific focus on collaborating efforts within the Mississippi River Basin.

“If we are to engage in finding solutions that sustain both the natural environment and the economic benefits of water use, we must become more inclusive in the make up of our partnerships,” said Brig. Gen. Michael J. Walsh, Mississippi Valley Division, Commander of the Corps. “We are all stewards of the environment, and we all have a stake in the economic health of America. To be successful, we must continue to work together, share ideas and dedicate ourselves to finding comprehensive solutions that work. Through cooperation, communication and commitment, we will make a lasting difference for our nation.”

“We greatly appreciate Brig. Gen. Walsh’s leadership in moving this partnership forward.  Now we must make it work on-the-ground between our organizations and our many partners who share these same objectives,” Wentz said.

DU and Corps employees will explore opportunities for collaboration under the new MOU by attending a workshop at Ducks Unlimited’s national headquarters in Memphis on Nov. 25. The workshop is intended to educate and inform participants on the programs and projects each organization offers.  
    
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 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 acres of wetlands important to waterfowl each year.

The
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers affirms its commitment to the environment through a set of "Environmental Operating Principles. These principles ensure that the Corps considers conservation, environmental preservation and restoration in all its activities and, by implementing them, the Corps will continue its efforts to develop the scientific, economic and sociological measures to achieve environmentally sustainable solutions to the nation's water resources problems.
 
Media contacts: Chris Jennings, Ducks Unlimited, 901-758-3732
Stacy Ouellette, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 901-544-3360