SYRACUSE, New York. – March 1, 2021 – Ducks Unlimited (DU) and numerous partners protected, enhanced or restored 369 acres of wetland and grassland habitat on five New York project sites in 2020, greatly improving water quality and wildlife habitat.
The milestones in 2020 were achieved with field staff taking extra precautions and using creative solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic. The acres conserved added to a sizeable historical investment in New York. Over the last 30 years, Ducks Unlimited has conserved nearly 57,000 wetland and grassland acres across the state, investing more than $41 million in wetland habitats.
Partners included the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; New York Audubon Society; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Cargill and North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants.
“More than 60% of New York’s wetlands have been lost due to human development,” said Ed Farley, DU regional biologist for Wisconsin. “Our landscape-level conservation efforts help more than ducks. Wetlands benefit local residents by reducing flooding risk, improving water quality and boosting the economy.”
Highlights from 2020 include:
- Cayuga County – Ducks Unlimited supporters celebrated the completion of the Loop Road project, a 140-acre restoration of Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area. The restoration included 125 acres of emergent marsh and 15 acres of grassland along the Seneca River. The site transformed a former agricultural field back into a natural wetland floodplain with shallow areas. The project improves water quality in the Seneca River by reducing soil erosion and sediment and nutrient run-off from rainfall. The management area is popular with hunters, birders and hikers.
- Erie County – DU and partners engineered new channels and potholes at the 150-acre Buckhorn Marsh, the largest remaining emergent marsh habitat in the highly developed Niagara River area on Grand Island, just south of the Niagara Power Dam. The project restored connectivity from the Niagara River and throughout the marsh system.
- Genesee County – Ducks Unlimited and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation enhanced 123 acres of habitat in Windmill Marsh at Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area. The project allows state managers to draw down water levels to control invasive vegetation that has degraded the marsh.
- Monroe County – The 191-acre Cranberry Pond is a Lake Ontario coastal marsh that’s vital to the semi-annual migrations of waterfowl and other birds of the Atlantic Flyway. The marsh has been degraded by cattails, and Ducks Unlimited and the New York Audubon Society will improve habitat by improving channels and potholes. In addition to providing quality staging areas for birds, the enhanced marsh will be important to human recreation. Located near the urban center of Rochester, Cranberry Pond will be an inviting location for hunting, kayaking and birding.
For a complete report of 2020 activities and a look into what’s planned for 2021 and beyond, see the New York's Conservation Report and visit http://www.ducks.org/new-york.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved nearly 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.