Ducks Unlimited (DU) was selected by Texan by Nature (TxN) as a 2023 Conservation Wrangler for our role in a broad partnership working to protect and restore the Chenier Plain in Texas. The Texan by Nature Conservation Wrangler program selects and supports the best Texan-led conservation projects with 18 months of strategic planning, marketing messaging, metrics capture and analysis, partner development, as well as creating professional assets such as videos and Return on Conservation Indexes. 

The Chenier Plain stretches over 200 miles along the Gulf Coast from Galveston, Texas to Vermilion Bay, Louisiana, and extends nearly 70 miles inland. This 6.5-million-acre area produces rice and crawfish and is the heart of the Gulf Coast energy industry. A first line of defense for coastal communities against storm surges, the Chenier Plain has degraded over the years due to human-induced and natural changes. As critical habitat for migratory birds and a nursery for recreationally and commercially important fisheries, the restoration of this landscape is of utmost concern to a broad coalition of conservation partners. 

TxN is working with DU to uplift the broad effort to restore the Texas Chenier Plain and increase understanding of the critical role of the area to wildlife, industries, and people. During the Conservation Wrangler partnership, TxN and DU will shine a light on the Texas Chenier Plain Restoration effort as a partnership model for ecosystem-scale restoration.

More than 20 years ago, local, state, and federal leaders collaborated with DU scientists to develop the Salt Bayou Watershed Restoration Plan, outlining a path for more unified action to protect and restore this crucial area for people and wildlife. 

“Chenier Plain restoration is much bigger than Ducks Unlimited,” said Director of Foundation Relations Andi Cooper, “But we are proud to help our conservation partners highlight the multi-faceted, multi-decade effort to ensure healthy coastal wetlands and prairies across the area through our selection as a Conservation Wrangler. Much has been accomplished by many partners in that time, but there remains much more to be done.”

Project partners include Jefferson County, Jefferson County Drainage District No. 6, Chambers County, Liberty County, Galveston County, Orange County, Orange County Navigation and Port District, City of Port Arthur, Port of Port Arthur Navigation District, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Texas General Land office, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Natural Resources Damage Assessment Trustees, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Water Development Board, Texas Department of Transportation, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Gulf Coast Joint Venture, private landowners, Golden Pass LNG, ExxonMobil, Coastal Conservation Association, The Conservation Fund, Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust, Galveston Bay Foundation, Galveston Bay Estuary Program, Phillips 66, CenterPoint Energy, The Nature Conservancy, Big Thicket Association, Energy Transfer, Axalta, ONEOK, Shell, Department of Homeland Security, and DU Gulf Coast Initiative Sponsors.