The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Ducks Unlimited recently gathered with supporters to dedicate and celebrate the renovations completed on the Duck Creek Conservation Area in Stoddard, Bollinger, and Wayne Counties. The conservation area contains 2,400 acres of wetlands, as well as forest and cropland, and was purchased by the MDC to provide waterfowl hunting opportunities adjacent to the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge.

"This is a special day to celebrate our wetland restoration efforts at Duck Creek Conservation Area," said Matt Bowyer, MDC wildlife regional supervisor for southeast Missouri. "It is also a great opportunity to recognize and say thank you to the people who have made this project possible."

During the dedication event, plaques were unveiled bearing the names of Missouri DU Legacy Greenwing members, as well as those of DU Major Sponsors and others who have given generously to the project.

The Duck Creek restoration project was completed as part of Missouri's Golden Anniversary Wetlands Initiative, an ambitious partnership launched in 2004 to rehabilitate and enhance wetlands on five of the MDC's oldest wetlands conservation areas. According to Bowyer, the original infrastructure of these areas has outlived reasonable life expectancy, in some cases seeing more than 50 years of wear and tear. Extreme landscape changes have also had unforeseen and devastating effects.

"Projects like these are a testimony to the relationship between Ducks Unlimited, our volunteers, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and numerous other partners," said Mark Flaspohler, DU manager of conservation programs.

"Missouri, as well as the rest of the Big Rivers Initiative area, is vital to waterfowl making the grand passage from the northern breeding grounds to the southern wintering grounds in the fall."