Last summer, motivated by a Federal mandate to develop the New Jersey Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy, our good friend and partner Marty McHugh, Director of New Jersey's Division of Fish and Wildlife, suggested a meeting of significant partners who might help in developing that strategy. Marty recognized that the 8000-acre Hackensack Meadowlands loomed as a challenge of its own and purported that a conservation plan for the Meadowlands unit, as already directed by the Meadowlands Commission itself, would require a more intensive effort. His proposal was to create a partnership that would call upon the expertise of Ducks Unlimited as well as New Jersey Audubon to help develop component parts of the overall plan. The result was a MOU bringing together DU, NJ Audubon, NJDFW, and the NJ Meadowland's Commission to collaborate on the best possible product.

DU's portion of the effort was designed by Dr. Tina Yerkes, our Director of Conservation Planning, and is entitiled "NJ Meadowlands-The Signifigance of Urban Wetlands to Migratory and Wintering Waterfowl along the Atlantic Flyway. The study, which begun this winter will survey and evaluate food resource availability and waterfowl use in the various wetland habitat types found in the Meadowlands complex. Matt DiBona, a former DU intern and now graduate student at the University of Delaware, will be conducting the research effort throughout this year and early 2006. The findings will then be analyzed and reports prepared about this time next year.