Congressman Thompson, DU celebrate historic restoration project in California

AMERICAN CANYON, Calif. – Aug. 26, 2010 – Congressman Mike Thompson of California's 1st Congressional District joined more than 100 California conservation and political officials yesterday to celebrate a milestone in U.S. habitat restoration.

Rep. Mike Thompson
Rep. Mike Thompson at the Napa Sonoma Marshes Restoration Project

Ducks Unlimited hosted a media event and site tour of the Napa Sonoma Marshes Restoration Project near American Canyon. DU and its partners assisted the California Department of Fish and Game in restoring the area, which is being transformed from a large expanse of salt evaporation ponds into 1,400 acres of natural tidal wetlands that support populations of migratory waterfowl, endangered fish species, shorebirds and other wildlife. These acres join 5,000 acres previously restored by DU on the Napa Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area.

But the project's benefits extend to people as well, supporting more than 100 jobs and infusing more than $13 million into the local economy. The project will provide recreational opportunities for the San Francisco Bay Area's 7 million residents and will be open for public use in the future.

"Anytime you can have government, the public and private agencies working together in a partnership such as this one, you can do great things," said Rep. Thompson. "We can make a difference-we can make important improvements for conservation-which is evidenced by this project."

"The amazing restoration work that has been done here at the Napa Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area near American Canyon would not have been possible were it not for the collaborative efforts between DU and our partners," said Mark Biddlecomb, director of DU's Western Regional Office in Sacramento. "This project represents restoration work at its best and symbolizes DU's conservation mission coming to fruition."

Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest nonprofit 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.

Lauren Oxner