Coastal Conservation Association supports Ducks Unlimited

Texas public lands improved through partnership

HOUSTON, Texas – Sept. 23, 2010 – Ducks Unlimited has received a $50,000 grant from Coastal Conservation Association Texas in support of restoration work at the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area in Jefferson County, Texas.

"The marshes of the Texas Gulf Coast have experienced tremendous alterations and losses," Todd Merendino, DU manager of conservation programs, said. "The remaining wetland habitats support a rich diversity of wildlife and fish species, are vital to the sustainability of multiple wildlife populations and provide one of the most important wintering and migration areas in North America for waterfowl, shorebirds and other wetland-dependent migratory birds."

Factors including development pressures, urbanization, decreased rice agriculture, altered local and regional hydrology, saltwater intrusion and invasive species have contributed to the degradation and loss of important coastal habitats in Texas.

"CCA began in Texas, and we are pleased to continue our conservation efforts in the Lonestar State through this partnership with Ducks Unlimited," Robby Byers, CCA executive director for Texas, said. "It will take the combined efforts of diverse conservation-minded groups to ensure that the Texas Gulf Coast will continue to fulfill its historical role as a thriving fishery."

Breakwaters like this one decrease wave action and erosion of coastal marshes along navigation and shipping channels.

The $50,000 from CCA will support the construction of 2,500 linear feet of rock breakwater, designed to stop shoreline erosion, marsh degradation and emergent vegetation loss. DU will perform site surveys and provide design, engineering, and construction management services on the breakwater. Additional funding from other partners will cover the remainder of the estimated $375,000 cost.

"We appreciate the support and opportunity to partner with CCA and look forward to strengthening this coastal conservation partnership," Sean Stone, DU director of development, said. "Anglers and hunters have long been the most dedicated conservationists, and combining our efforts along the Gulf Coast, where key habitats for fish and wildlife overlap, just makes sense."

Coastal Conservation Association is a non-profit organization composed of 17 coastal state chapters spanning the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic seaboard and the Pacific Northwest. The stated purpose of CCA is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources. The objective of CCA is to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of these coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.

Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest non-profit 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.

Andi Cooper