Ducks Unlimited was recently awarded a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant, which will be used to significantly expand the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in southwestern Indiana. The grant will be matched by more than $2 million in partner funds to acquire nearly 3,000 acres of wetlands and adjacent uplands.

"It has been nearly a decade since a NAWCA grant of this size has been secured for this part of the state," said DU regional biologist Michael Sertle. "Not only will it give us the ability to protect and improve thousands of acres of existing habitats, but it will also allow us to restore hundreds of additional acres of wetlands and grasslands in the future."

Ducks Unlimited partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Sycamore Land Trust; Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust; Peabody Energy Corporation; Indiana Wildlife Federation; the Nature Conservancy; Izaak Walton League; Evansville Audubon Society; Friends of Patoka River NWR; and Wildlife, Land, and Resource Management LLC on this project. Many of these groups are first-time NAWCA participants.