The Nebraska Environmental Trust board has approved the Darr Strip Habitat Complex proposal, awarding DU a $224,000 grant with potential for an additional $127,000 next year. This project will protect and restore 1,250 acres along the Platte River in central Nebraska, providing important habitat for waterfowl and new opportunities for public recreation, including waterfowl hunting.

The proposal encompasses conservation work on five individual properties, including the Darr Strip Wildlife Management Area, which is managed by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. In total, more than seven miles of wetland channel habitat will be restored. These wetlands provide loafing and foraging habitat for waterfowl, particularly during spring migration, when many ducks and geese stop here to feed and rest while en route to breeding areas in the Prairie Pothole Region and western boreal forest.

Conservation easements secured by DU will permanently protect waterfowl habitat on three properties. "Most of the important waterfowl habitat on the Platte River is privately owned. The future well-being of waterfowl populations depends on the willingness of private landowners to voluntarily preserve and manage these important habitats," said DU regional biologist Jonas Davis. "We appreciate the landowners who have stepped forward to protect this property forever."

In addition to the Nebraska Environmental Trust and private landowners, other partners in this project include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.