In January 2010, 75 DU volunteers and major sponsors attended the dedication of the E. Merle Edwards Wetland Restoration Project at the Gull Rock Game Land Impoundment near Lake Mattamuskeet, N.C. The project and dedication were in honor of E. Merle Edwards in recognition of his strong commitment to family, friends and community.

E. Merle Edwards Wetland Restoration Project dedication
Seventy-five DU volunteers and major sponsors attended the E. Merle Edwards Dedication in North Carolina.

The formal dedication kicked off with lunch and presentations at the former Toppings Motel in Hyde County. Keynote speakers included Tommy Hughes from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Tommy Edwards, and John Farley. After lunch, the group gathered at the dedication site to unveil the project cairn and to recognize the many DU supporters that contributed more than $150,000 towards the project through North Carolina's Sound CARE Initiative.

The newly dedicated E. Merle Edwards Wetland Restoration Project enhanced management capability of a 200-acre unit on the Gull Rock Game Land. Infrastructure improvements included installing four water control structures, replacing a pump and power unit, and retrofitting an existing pump to control water levels. When intensively managed with brackish waters from nearby Pamlico Sound, this area will provide excellent habitat for wigeon, pintail, black duck, lesser scaup and tundra swan, as well as improve water quality by retaining and filtering sediment before it reaches the Sound. This project was part of the Sound Investment Phase II NAWCA grant submitted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will manage the project to benefit waterfowl and will allow public hunting and other recreational uses on the area.

Ducks Unlimited would like to thank the following major donors and partners that supported the project. These philanthropists include W. Robert Bizzell, James Louise Clement, Jr., Merle Elizabeth Edwards, Thomas L. Edwards, Jr., Carl E. Maness, Jr., David Morris, Bubba Jordy Rawl, Rodney Laura Warren, James Ann Cerza, David C. Edwards, Stuart M. Edwards, John Lauren Farley, Larry Bonnie Marler, Penny Nobles, Bob Rippy, Harold M. Williams, Jr., Ed Vicky Clement, Edwin M. Edwards, II., Thomas Carla Edwards, Jonathan Leah Fussell, Phillip Nance Meador, W. Douglas Roxanne Parsons, Ernie Jo Ellen Tart, and Dave Judy Whichard.