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Working rice lands worth $3.5 billion of managed wetland habitat

WASHINGTON – May 6, 2014 – There’s no doubt that rice, waterfowl and wetland habitats work cohesively to form a perfect ecosystem, and a recently published report puts a monetary value on those existing rice lands. Authored by Ducks Unlimited scientists for The Rice Foundation, the study found that the cost of attempting to replace rice lands with natural wetland habitat would exceed $3.5 billion.

Rice Lands Provide Vital Waterfowl Habitat

Each fall, millions of waterfowl migrate from their northern breeding grounds to historical wintering sites in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) and along the Gulf Coast. Although the MAV once consisted largely of bottomland hardwood forests and the Gulf Coast was characterized by tall-grass prairie and shallow ponds, these regions have been transformed by agriculture and urbanization.
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