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Pawnee resident elected to Ducks Unlimited’s national board of directors

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – June 23, 2014 – Galen Johnson was elected to Ducks Unlimited Inc.’s national board of directors during the organization’s annual convention in St. Louis.

DU Submits Grant Proposal for Oakwood Bottoms Habitat Restoration

Ducks Unlimited has submitted a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant proposal for wetland restoration and enhancement work at Oakwood Bottoms, a greentree management area in Shawnee National Forest near Murphysboro, Illinois.

Southern Illinois Receives its First $1 Million NAWCA Grant

In September, the North American Wetlands Conservation Council approved funding for the Bottomlands of the Great Rivers project, which will protect, restore, and enhance approximately 3,000 acres of wetlands on the Shawnee National Forest and Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Illinois.

Ducks Unlimited Protects “Wilderness” Wetland


Diane & Doug Oberhelman: Philanthropic Leaders Help Shape Conservation as Part of WAT and DU Boards

Diane and Doug Oberhelman of Edwards, Illinois, serve on the boards of Ducks Unlimited and Wetlands America Trust, DU's land-holding arm. They support DU's conservation efforts across the board and are heavily involved in many ways within the organization. Their story appeared in the 2013 Ducks Unlimited Annual Report.

Migration Alert: Impressive Duck Numbers Surveyed in Central Illinois

The latest Illinois survey on October 28 tallied exceptionally high numbers of pintails, gadwalls, and green-winged teal. Mallard numbers are also good and are expected to climb with each new cold front.

Ducks Unlimited Inc., Ducks Unlimited Canada support ecological separation of Great Lakes

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Sept. 9, 2013 - Ducks Unlimited Inc. (DUI) and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) jointly released a statement this week on the threat to the Great Lakes presented by non-native carp. The conservation groups called on governmental and non-governmental organizations to move toward the ecological separation of the Great Lakes watershed as soon as possible, as part of a comprehensive strategy to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp and other invasive species.

Ducks Unlimited applauds improvements in Great Lakes funding

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Aug. 2, 2013 - Ducks Unlimited appreciates the passage of an amendment to provide $210 million to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) program. Previously a subcommittee had reduced funding for the successful program to $60 million.

Canton resident donates collection to Ducks Unlimited

CANTON, Ill. – June 19, 2013 – William "Bill" Peak, 69, a lifelong Canton resident and avid sportsman, passed away on Aug. 8, 2012, leaving his firearms, decoys, boats and hunting equipment to Ducks Unlimited. The collection sold for nearly $60,000 at a local public auction.

Great Lakes Initiative

Protecting the pristine waters of the Great Lakes and conserving critical habitat for many species of waterfowl that utilize this vast watershed throughout their life cycle.

Big Rivers Initiative

Restoring feeding and resting areas along the river that make up the Mississippi River floodplain and the conserving habitat critical to the grand passage of migratory waterfowl.

Parcel acquired for wildlife refuge on Wisconsin-Illinois border

LAKE GENEVA, Wis. – April 11, 2013 – Ducks Unlimited and the Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Partnership recently announced the acquisition of a parcel in Walworth County, Wis. Final plans for the parcel are not yet known but will include either the eventual transfer of the unit to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) or a local land trust for inclusion in Hackmatack NWR. The property is the first such parcel in Wisconsin.

Illinois celebrated at national wildlife conference

ARLINGTON, Va. – April 1, 2013 – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources was celebrated at a Ducks Unlimited breakfast held at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Arlington, Virginia.

DU recognizes four states for significant financial contributions

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – During its annual Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards breakfast last week, Ducks Unlimited recognized four state agencies for significant investments toward conserving waterfowl breeding habitat in Canada.

Ducks Unlimited announces 2013 Wetlands for Kids Day

ST. LOUIS - March 15, 2013 - Did you know wetlands support more than 900 species of wildlife, many of them threatened or endangered, in addition to providing us with clean water and flood protection? Join Ducks Unlimited for the upcoming 14th Annual Wetlands for Kids Day and you and your children can learn even more about wetlands through engaging hands-on activities and demonstrations.

DU board member appointed to foundation

CHICAGO – Jan. 17, 2013 – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed Barbara Johnson to the board of directors of the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF). Johnson, also a member of Ducks Unlimited's board of directors, will serve on the volunteer committee that has raised more than $30 million for conservation in Illinois since its formation in 1994.

Illinois DU Newsletter

View past issues of the official Illinois Ducks Unlimited newsletter.

Migration Alert: Survey flights report above-average waterfowl numbers in Illinois

A strong frontal passage on Nov. 12 pushed new ducks into Illinois. Aerial survey figures taken the next day show impressive numbers in the Illinois River Valley and along the upper Mississippi River.

Ducks Unlimited congratulates conservation partners on wetland designations

CANTON, Ill. - Aug. 8, 2012 - Ducks Unlimited congratulates the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) on the designation of Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and Emiquon Preserve as "Wetlands of International Importance" under criteria of the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty committing the United States and other governments to the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

DU supports opening some CRP lands for drought-stricken ranchers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Aug. 3, 2012 - Ducks Unlimited supports opening certain Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands to haying and grazing during the current drought affecting livestock feed supplies. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack opened nearly 4 million acres of CRP land this week for livestock producers dealing with shortages of hay and pastureland.

Chicago DU 75th Anniversary Gala Auction Items

Saturday, July 28 at 6:00 p.m., JW Marriott Grand Ballroom. To reserve tickets or for more information, please contact Rodney Schlafer at (815) 403-3597 or rschlafer@ducks.org.

DU receives largest grant ever for Illinois wetlands conservation

The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation has awarded Ducks Unlimited a $5 million grant to conserve, restore, and protect up to 3,000 acres of vital wetland habitat along the Illinois River. The grant is the largest gift DU has received to date for wetlands conservation in Illinois.

Oakwood Bottoms Project Completed in Southern Illinois

Ducks Unlimited recently completed its latest project at the Oakwood Bottoms greentree reservoir in Jackson County, Illinois.

Chicago DU 75th Anniversary Gala Sponsorship Opportunities

Saturday, July 28 at 6:00 p.m., JW Marriott Grand Ballroom

Chicago DU 75th Anniversary Gala Ticket Prices

Join us at the JW Marriott celebrating conservation for generations and the legacy of waterfowling in the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest.

Chicago Downtown Chapter recognized nationally

CHICAGO, Ill. – March 27, 2012 – The President's Elite are among Ducks Unlimited's most prestigious volunteer chapters throughout the nation. This past fall, the Chicago Downtown chapter made the list as one of the organization's best fundraising chapters.

Lake Forest Area Chapter recognized nationally

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – March 27, 2012 – The President's Elite are among Ducks Unlimited's most prestigious volunteer chapters throughout the nation. This past fall, the Lake Forest Area chapter made the list as one of the organization's best fundraising chapters.

Macon-Moweaqua Chapter recognized nationally

MACON, Ill. – March 27, 2012 – The President's Elite are among Ducks Unlimited's most prestigious volunteer chapters throughout the nation. This past fall, the Macon-Moweaqua chapter made the list as one of the organization's best fundraising chapters.

Chicago DU 75th Anniversary Gala

Join us for the Ducks Unlimited Chicago 75th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, July 28 at 6:00 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the JW Marriott in Chicago, Illinois.

Manito Chapter recognized nationally

MANITO, Ill. – March 15, 2012 – The President's Top 100 is one of the most highly sought- after titles of recognition Ducks Unlimited offers to chapters throughout the nation. This past fall, the Manito Chapter made the Top 100 list as one of the organization's best fundraising chapters.

Northshore Chapter recognized nationally

EVANSTON, Ill. – March 15, 2012 – The President's Top 100 is one of the most highly sought- after titles of recognition Ducks Unlimited offers to chapters throughout the nation. This past fall, the Northshore Chapter made the Top 100 list as one of the organization's best fundraising chapters.

Illinois: Jenkins Marsh/VanZelst Farm

Ducks Unlimited and its partners have protected 237 acres of land in Illinois as part of the Jenkins Marsh/VanZelst Farm project.

Migration Alert - Southern Illinois waterfowlers waiting for push

Dec. 21, 2011: Southern Illinois hunters are in a wait-and-hope mode: waiting for a push of new birds and hoping it will occur before the season ends in late January.

Marathon Petroleum Company named 2011 Wings Over Wetlands winner

Ducks Unlimited and the Wildlife Habitat Council recognized Marathon Petroleum Company LP as the winner of the 2011 Wings Over Wetlands award.

Ducks Unlimited Donates Mississippi River Property to USFWS

Ducks Unlimited recently donated 318 acres at Rockwood Island to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for inclusion in the recently established Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).

Ducks Unlimited Donates Mississippi River Property to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Ducks Unlimited donated 318 acres at Rockwood Island to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for inclusion into the recently established Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).

Chapter Spotlight: Northwest Suburban, Illinois Chapter

Illinois DU chapter sends a "taste of home" to troops overseas

Grand Victoria Foundation to Revitalize Upper Peoria Lake

Almost midway between St. Louis and Chicago and within minutes of downtown Peoria is an ecological treasure—Upper Peoria Lake. Located in the heart of the Mississippi Flyway, Upper Peoria Lake is a historically significant stopover for ducks migrating along the Illinois River and also home to several duck clubs that share a rich tradition of waterfowl hunting dating back more than a century.

11,000 Acres of Critical Habitat Protected in IL, MO

In just over three years, Ducks Unlimited and an impressive suite of partners permanently protected 11,135 acres of critical wildlife habitat in Illinois and Missouri with the support of a $2.5-million grant from the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation using funds provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

President's Elite Chapters Rise to the Top

Each year a select group of Ducks Unlimited chapters rises to the top of the ranks: the President's Elite chapters, which raise $100,000 or more annually for DU's habitat conservation work. This year, 43 DU chapters achieved President's Elite status.

Ducks Unlimited Names Top 100 Chapters

The Top 100 Chapters are among Ducks Unlimited's most successful chapters throughout the nation. Each year, the list is reserved for the top 100 chapters that raise up to $100,000 in grassroots income for DU's conservation mission.

Ducks Unlimited Presents Wetland Conservation Award to Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin

Ducks Unlimited recognized U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois for his contributions to wetland conservation during the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources conference in Kansas City, Mo.

2011 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards

KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 18, 2011 – Ducks Unlimited announced today the winners of the 2011 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards at the 76th annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

DU Announces New Wetland Project for Upper Peoria Lake

DU planning new wetland restoration project for Upper Peoria Lake

Ducks Unlimited names new GLARO director

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Nov. 2, 2010 - Rebecca Humphries, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, has accepted the position of director of the Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office for Ducks Unlimited.

Ducks Unlimited recognizes Illinois senator for support of new specialty DU license plate

QUINCY, Ill., Oct. 6, 2010 - Ducks Unlimited has recognized State Senator John Sullivan for his leadership and support in passing a bill to establish a specialty DU license plate this past legislative session.

Ducks Unlimited sets $5 million goal for Upper Peoria Lake conservation

PEORIA, Ill. - Aug. 17, 2010 - Ducks Unlimited has set a goal to raise $5 million in federal, state and private funds for wetland conservation work associated with Upper Peoria Lake and the Illinois River. DU CEO Dale Hall made the announcement today while attending an open house at Presley's Outdoor Store in Bartonville.

Make a difference on the Mississippi

Cleanup for a cause on June 19 The Mississippi River watershed is a migration corridor for millions of waterfowl every year, as well as an American icon. The river's serenity and life-supporting capabilities go far beyond waterfowl, shorebirds and wildlife, however, stretching into the cities and to the people who live along its muddy banks. Now it's time to give something back to this great watershed.

Illinois Ducks Unlimited volunteer meets with congressional leaders

CHICAGO - May 18, 2010 - Ducks Unlimited volunteer Barbara Johnson traveled from Chicago to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with congressional leaders and discuss wetlands conservation issues. Johnson and DU staff members sat down with Illinois representatives and their staffs to explain the benefits of North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants for Illinois and the North American waterfowl population.

Ducks Unlimited, partners awarded Great Lakes restoration grant

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – April 26, 2010 – Ducks Unlimited received one of the first Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grants through the Sustain Our Great Lakes program this past week. DU and its partners will restore coastal streams and marshes in northern Michigan using the $783,823 grant.

Ducks Unlimited urges partnership in carp solution

Conservation group releases position on invasive Asian carp WASHINGTON - Feb. 28, 2010 - This week, Ducks Unlimited released its position on the threat to the Great Lakes presented by non-native carp. DU called on both governmental and non-governmental organizations to develop an immediate short-term plan, followed by a comprehensive long-term strategy to deal with Asian carp in the Great Lakes.

Ducks Unlimited helps acquire Illinois River wetlands

EAST PEORIA, Ill. - February 22, 2010 - More than 450 acres of wilderness quality wetland habitat along the Illinois River is being protected and will be managed for public use thanks to a three way partnership between Ducks Unlimited, the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The newly acquired property, known to locals as "Pluckeman's Slough," is located across the river from Browning, IL about 60 miles southwest of Peoria.

Illinois Ducks Unlimited celebrates 50,000th acre

EAST PEORIA, Ill. —February 22, 2010. Ducks Unlimited, the world’s largest wetland and waterfowl conservation organization, celebrated its 50,000th acre of wetland conservation in Illinois during its annual state convention at the Par-a-Dice Hotel in East Peoria, IL. The milestone achievement actually occurred this past year in conjunction with a wetland restoration project conducted in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) at the Double “T” State Fish and Wildlife Area in Fulton County, IL. The project was funded by Mike Hitchcock, Sr., a long-time DU supporter and Diamond Heritage Sponsor.

Illinois receives third easement benefitting waterfowl

CHANDLERVILLE, Ill. - Feb. 2, 2010 - Ducks Unlimited closed on the third conservation easement in Illinois with Richardson Farms Outfitters. The 426-acre property is directly adjacent to and used to be part of the Bushnell Rod and Gun Club, a property that DU sold to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources earlier this year.

President signs legislation in support of Great Lakes

ANN ARBOR, Michigan November 2, 2009 Historic legislation aimed at the restoring the Great Lakes was signed by President Obama Friday after the House and Senate approved the measure last week. According to Ducks Unlimited, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will provide $475 million for a comprehensive program to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Ducks Unlimited stands ready to turn this financial commitment into cleaner water and better habitat for waterfowl, wildlife and citizens of the Great Lakes and beyond.

Drinking Water for 346,000 in Southwestern Illinois at Risk

Congress Must Restore Clean Water Act Protections October 6, 2009 -- Analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency shows that drinking water supplies for at least 346,000 residents in Southwestern Illinois are at risk of contamination from industrial pollution – and federal agencies like EPA may not have authority to stop it.

Conservationists support investment in Great Lakes

Ann Arbor, Mich. – May 20, 2009 – Ducks, geese and swans in the Great Lakes could realize an increase in the size and quality of their habitat if President Obama’s proposed budget for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative comes to fruition. The budget for 2010 contains an additional $475 million for Great Lakes restoration and economic recovery.

DNR & DU Partnership

DNR & DU Partnership - Wightman Lake Project

Ducks Unlimited donates Illinois River property to Department of Natural Resources

East Peoria, Ill.- Feb. 21, 2009 - Ducks Unlimited (DU) donated 370 acres along the Illinois River to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today during its annual state convention in East Peoria.

Schulz elected to DU Board of Directors

Dr. Rex Schultz elected to DU Board of Directors

Ducks Unlimited Addresses Illinois Flooding

Long-term solutions best answer to extreme weather events MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 3, 2008 - In the weeks that follow a flooding event, authorities are providing immediate assistance to those suffering from the disaster, but they are also looking for answers to help provide residents with better protection in the future.

New online map allows users firsthand, interactive experience of black duck migration

If you’re interested in taking bird watching to the next level, Ducks Unlimited has the perfect tool for you. This month, Ducks Unlimited’s Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office unveiled an updated version of its Black Duck Research Initiative Web site, including an all-new interactive mapping tool allowing users to “Follow the Ducks” using satellite and VHF radio tracking technology.

Congresswoman to host Conservation Workshop

Congresswoman Candace Miller will host a conservation workshop Monday, March 3rd.

DU meets with Congressional leadership and Administration officials to discuss conservation

WASHINGTON – February 13, 2008 – Ducks Unlimited Executive Vice President Don Young was joined by other wildlife conservation organizations today to deliver a strong message on behalf of sportsmen and habitat: protect and expand habitat conservation and opportunities for sportsmen.

Ducks Unlimited’s Black Duck Research Initiative brought to life on Web

New online map allows users firsthand, interactive experience of black duck migration ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 8, 2008 – If you’re interested in taking bird watching to the next level, Ducks Unlimited has the perfect tool for you.

President’s Budget proposal mixed on waterfowl programs

FY’09 request maintains some programs, cuts others--including Bush priorities WASHINGTON, February 4, 2008 – Conservation programs that benefit waterfowl receive mixed support in the 2009 budget proposal, released today by the Bush administration.

Ducks Unlimited commemorates millionth acre of Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

Joins Secretary of Agriculture in marking the conservation milestone WASHINGTON – January 17, 2008 – Ducks Unlimited and the US Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency celebrated the enrollment of the one millionth acre into the popular Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) today.

DU says CRP losses astounding

National trend for habitat loss concerning BISMARCK, ND, January 4, 2008 – The conservation organization Ducks Unlimited says it’s as if someone plowed up a three-mile swath of wildlife habitat across North Dakota, from its southern border to Canada.

Ducks Unlimited biologist Jason Hill wins national award.

Ann Arbor: Jason Hill, a Ducks Unlimited regional biologist, earned the 2006 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Wetlands Group Assisted Individual Conservation Award for his outstanding work on behalf of Indiana wetlands. The National Wetlands Conservation Award program began in 1990 to honor Fish and Wildlife Service private sector partners for their efforts to restore and improve wetlands across the nation.

Anthony Padgett named Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - March 26, 2007 - Acclaimed wildlife artist Anthony Padgett of Mascoutah, Ill., is Ducks Unlimited 2008 International Artist of the Year. His painting, "Diligence - Yellow Lab," grabbed the top honor.

Ducks Unlimited Names Terry Fuchs, Illinois Volunteer Conservationist of the Year

On Feb. 17, during Ducks Unlimited’s annual state convention in Springfield, Ducks Unlimited (DU) volunteer Terry Fuchs was honored as Illinois Volunteer Conservationist of the Year. Each year the award is presented by the DU Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office to recognize and show appreciation for exceptional conservation and fundraising efforts on the part of an Illinois DU volunteer.

Ducks Unlimited and its Partners Plan a 60-acre Wetland Restoration Project for Salt Creek

The Illinois River watershed covers 28,500 square miles and is a home to over 11 million people. Storm water run-off from farms and urban areas within the watershed can sometimes carry excess sediment and nutrients that affect downstream water quality in the Illinois River, the Mississippi River, and ultimately, the Gulf of Mexico. Healthy wetlands, grasslands and forests help slow down run-off, trap pollutants and provide habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife.

Ducks Unlimited Purchases 318 Acres on Rockwood Island

Like no other, the Mississippi River is a national treasure. However, America’s most mighty river has undergone many changes over the past century. Out of concern about its current and future ecological condition, Ducks Unlimited (DU) has designated the Mississippi River as a focus area for a new conservation initiative to conserve, preserve and restore vital wetland habitat. The focus area encompasses parts of the lower Ohio River and the Mississippi River upstream from where the two rivers converge near Cairo, Illinois.

Ducks Unlimited and its Partners Prepare to Begin Construction at Crane Lake Project

The Illinois River basin is a critical migration corridor for waterfowl that is used by approximately 25 percent of all ducks in the Mississippi Flyway. Unfortunately, the continued loss and degradation of wetland habitat along the Illinois River has led to serious declines in waterfowl use, and to concerns about water quality conditions in downstream communities.

Ducks Unlimited Purchases 318 Acres on Rockwood Island - IL

Ducks Unlimited purchased the Rockwood Island parcel in close cooperation with the American Land Conservancy (ALC) using proceeds from a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant. ALC has acquired other key properties at Rockwood Island, some of which also need to be restored. DU is working with closely with ALC, USFWS and the Southwestern Illinois Resource Conservation and Development District to plan future wetland and bottomland forest restoration at all of these Rockwood Island sites. DU’s goal is to fully restore former cropland areas before the property is transferred to USFWS.

DU & Partners Prepare for Construction at Crane Lake Project

Crane Lake is a 1,000-acre backwater lake that serves as an important waterfowl refuge for the Illinois River. In 2002, a large flood breeched a state owned levee partially diverting the Sangamon River into a new course through Crane Lake. A damaged and undersized water control structure at Crane Lake now restricts the flow of water and threatens to further impact habitat conditions by preventing the growth and development of wetland vegetation important to migrating waterfowl.

DU and Partners Plan 60-acre Restoration Project for Salt Creek

The Illinois River watershed covers 28,500 square miles and is a home to over 11 million people. Storm water run-off from farms and urban areas within the watershed can sometimes carry excess sediment and nutrients that affect downstream water quality in the Illinois River, the Mississippi River, and ultimately, the Gulf of Mexico. Healthy wetlands, grasslands and forests help slow down run-off, trap pollutants and provide habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife.

Ducks Unlimited Unveils Restoration Plans for Wightman Lake - IL

Restoration of Ducks Unlimited’s (DU) Wightman Lake property continues to move forward as funding has been secured.

Ducks Unlimited's Illinois River Water Quality Initiative Extended

Ducks Unlimited’s successful and popular Illinois River Water Quality Initiative will continue for a third consecutive year thanks to the support of Senator Richard Durbin and funding provided in the FY06 Agricultural Appropriations.

Illinois Ducks Unlimited Hosts Annual State Convention

Illinois Ducks Unlimited’s (DU) state convention will be held on February 10-11. Ducks Unlimited volunteers, staff and the public will gather at the Par A Dice Hotel, in Peoria, Illinois to celebrate DU’s 2005 conservation and fundraising accomplishments in Illinois.

Upper Mississippi River

An overview of Ducks Unlimited's habitat conservation work in the Upper Mississippi River priority area

U.S. Great Lakes System

An overview of Ducks Unlimited's U.S. Great Lakes System priority area.

Mississippi Alluvial Valley

An overview of Ducks Unlimited's Mississippi Alluvial Valley priority area.

Adelman-Schwartz Mola Prairie Wetland Preserve

Blue-winged teal land in a flooded sedge meadow. Big bluestem, Indian grass and other native prairie plants wave in the wind. Nearby, a loggerhead shrike perches on a locust tree, scanning the ground for small rodents or other prey.

Where Illinois's Ducks Come From

The Prairie Pothole Region is critical to Illinois waterfowl hunters. The vast majority of Illinois’ annual duck harvest migrates to us from the Prairie Pothole Region, also referred to as “the duck factory”. In addition, we receive a significant number of mallards from the Great Lakes region every fall and winter.

DU invests 1 million annually in Ill. conservation

During the past eight years, Ducks Unlimited has significantly increased both its investment in Illinois conservation and its accomplishments of on-the-ground habitat projects. Since 2004, DU has invested more than $1 million annually in its Illinois conservation programs.

2007 to be busy construction year for DU

Several DU projects are “in the queue” for construction in 2007. First up is a major renovation project at Crane Lake at Sanganois State Fish and Wildlife Area in Mason County. A contractor has been hired for this 1,000-acre project and work will begin as soon as conditions at the site are suitable for construction.

Kaskaskia River sites benefit from DU assistance

In 2002, DU completed the Baldwin Marsh and Wood Duck Management Unit projects at Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area (SFWA). These projects, completed in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, enhanced 39 acres of wetland habitat.

DU projects top the list in wetlands study

The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) has initiated a multi-year statewide study evaluating moist soil plant production in managed wetland units at key waterfowl areas throughout the state. Two Ducks Unlimited projects, Spring Lake Bottoms and Reily Lake, topped the list of 2005 survey sites in terms of total moist soil plant seed production.

DU Water Quality Initiative assists landowners

Ducks Unlimited’s Illinois River Water Quality Initiative has assisted 25 private landowners in ten counties treat nearly 2,000 acres of cropland. This was accomplished by implementing multi-purpose soil, water and wetland conservation practices that capture storm water run-off, trap sediment and reduce nutrient levels in downstream creeks, rivers and lakes.

Restoration plan complete for Rockwood Island

Approximately 100 acres of wetland and another 170 acres of bottomland forest will be restored along the Mississippi River in Randolph County if Ducks Unlimited is able to fully implement its restoration plan for Rockwood Island.

Forest habitat improvements at Wightman Lake

Several forest habitat improvement projects are underway at Ducks Unlimited’s Wightman Lake property located along the Illinois River near Sparland, Illinois. In 2006, DU worked with Illinois Forestry Consulting to develop and implement a forest management plan to improve habitat for waterfowl, songbirds and other wildlife.

DU working to protect Sagamon River Delta

Ducks Unlimited (DU) is working to protect and restore a large delta where the Sangamon River joins the Illinois River near Beardstown, Illinois. This unique region, covering nearly 30 square miles, contains the largest expanse of undeveloped wetland habitat remaining in the Illinois River valley.

Ohio/Mississippi Confluence Priority Area

This priority area encompasses parts of the lower Ohio, Wabash, and Kaskaskia-Meramec River watersheds, and the Mississippi River. Nearly one third of the nation’s waters drain past the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

Rock River Priority Area

The Rock River watershed originates in Horicon Marsh, Wisconsin, and joins the Mississippi at Rock Island. Land use in the majority of the watershed is either livestock operations or crop production that negatively affect the water quality of rivers, streams, and lakes in the watershed.

Illinois River Priority Area

The Illinois River valley is a critical migratory corridor that is also used by breeding waterfowl. The basin drains 28,500 square miles and is home to more than 11 million people. Less than 1% of the prairie remains.

Illinois Conservation Projects

Ducks Unlimited habitat conservation projects in Illinois. These projects benefit waterfowl, other wildlife and people. View sample projects, project map and more.

"Big Muddy Wetlands" Dedication

More than a dozen federal, state and private conservation organizations gathered to celebrate Ducks Unlimited’s purchase of 195 acres of restored wetland habitat along the Big Muddy River in Jackson County, Illinois. Acquisition of the property, referred to as “Big Muddy Wetlands,” represents an important step towards a larger, collaborative goal of restoring and protecting the Middle Mississippi River ecosystem.

Weis Lake Project, Marshall County

Construction of the 328-acre Weis Lake project was completed this spring well in advance of the October 2003 deadline. More than 3,000 tons of rock and fill material were hauled by truck and barge to the construction site as part of this project.

Baldwin Marsh Dedicated, Randolf County

Baldwin Marsh is a 22-acre restoration project along the Kaskaskia River immediately adjacent to the town of Baldwin, IL. Completed in 2002, DU worked closely with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to restore this former oxbow wetland using financial assistance provided by Dynegy Midwest Generation and Martin Marietta Aggregates.

Rollins Savanna Wetlands Restored

Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve is a 1,225-acre natural area characterized by gently rolling topography and a mix of grassland, wetland and oak savanna woodlands. The property was actively farmed for many decades and most of its original wetland habitat had been drained and converted to cropland.

Pecatonica River Wetland

Nearly 300 acres of wetlands and grassland nesting cover along the Pecatonica River were restored on the Winnebago County Forest Preserve during the summer of 2001. The combination of oxbow lake, shallow marsh and native grass uplands will provide ideal habitat for nesting and migrating waterfowl.

Cameron National Wildlife Refuge: Henry, Illinois

Ducks Unlimited engineers have completed survey work at the Weise Lake Project located on the Cameron National Wildlife Refuge near Henry, Il. Final engineering design is expected early this spring. Weise Lake is a flagship project of DU's new Illinois River Program.
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