Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission awards Ducks Unlimited $1 million

State grant funding conserves vital waterfowl habitat
BATON ROUGE, La. – July 9, 2012 – In a July 2 meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission awarded Ducks Unlimited 100 percent of the available State Grants Program funding for the next three years. This commitment brings Louisiana's cumulative contribution for habitat conservation on Canadian breeding grounds important to Louisiana's waterfowl to more than $10 million.

"Ducks Unlimited is very pleased to see the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission continue a long and storied history of making wise investments in waterfowl habitat important to the birds that wing their way to Louisiana each year," said DU Director of Conservation Programs Jerry Holden. "As approximately 35 percent of the ducks harvested in Louisiana come from Saskatchewan, investing Louisiana's dollars in this geography clearly provides the greatest return for the state's waterfowl hunters."

The Association of Fish and Wildlife (AFWA) State Grants Program is funded through hunting license sales. The distribution of available funding is decided by each state's wildlife agency commission following a request for funding proposals. Louisiana has been participating in the program since 1964, longer than any other state.

"The importance of state grants contributions to Canadian habitat conservation and restoration projects cannot be overstated," said DU Canada's Director of International Partnerships Pat Kehoe. "Individual state contributions are combined with other state contributions, matched dollar for dollar by DU Inc. and DU Canada, and then used as match for North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants." 

DU was able to leverage the 2011-2012 Louisiana state grant contribution of $643,796 to secure a total investment of more than $3.2 million for conservation of important breeding habitats. With this new three-year commitment, Louisiana will contribute $1 million, which will be leveraged a minimum of four times to yield at least $4 million for waterfowl habitat conservation in Saskatchewan. 

Breeding ground habitat work is critical for the health of continental populations of waterfowl, and Louisiana's waterfowl hunters understand that. As such, nine past DU state chairmen for Louisiana and the current state chairman elect were present at the commission meeting to support the best use of Louisiana hunters' investment.

"Ducks Unlimited's programs in the U.S. and Canada are consistent with the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and our prairie programs are structured to protect native, highly productive habitat while also improving waterfowl production in working agricultural landscapes," Kehoe said.

Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, DU is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, with special events, projects and promotions across the continent. 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. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/ducksunlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/ducksunlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/ducksunlimitedinc.

Media Contact: 
Andi Cooper
(601) 956-1936