Wetland program benefits continue in Vermont

Assessment and restoration plans move forward

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Aug. 2, 2013 – Ducks Unlimited continues to move forward assessing projects for landowners in Vermont. These analyses are designed to connect funding sources to landowners looking to restore wetlands. This work was funded by a $77,000 grant from the State of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation Ecosystem Restoration Program to continue promoting, developing and implementing wetlands restoration projects in the Lake Champlain Basin portion of Vermont.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department identified the Lake Champlain Basin as a North American Waterfowl Management Plan focus area. In addition, the basin is a priority area for DU because of its significant value for waterfowl. The area provides breeding and – even more importantly – staging and migration habitat for tens of thousands of waterfowl, including American black ducks, mallards, wood ducks, green-winged teal, greater and lesser scaup, common goldeneyes, ring-necked ducks and common mergansers.

"Connecting landowners to funding sources is an important step in conservation, and one that ensures that opportunities are being utilized," said DU Manager of Conservation Programs Bernie Marczyk. "Thanks to this grant we were able to assist property holders in making sure that no assistance was left on the table."

This grant allowed DU to continue working under a unique partnership that was established in 2009 among the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the State of Vermont. These groups have joined forces to deliver the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) administered by NRCS and funded through the 2008 Farm Bill. In 2011, Vermont received more than $1 million in federal funds for this program and a similar level of funding in 2012. In the 2007 State of Vermont Lake Champlain Basin Wetland Restoration Plan, more than 86,480 acres of wetlands restoration opportunities were identified in the basin.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. 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 13 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.

Kristin Schrader
(734) 623-2000