MADISON, Wisc. – March 1, 2021 – Ducks Unlimited (DU) and numerous partners protected, enhanced or restored 4,333 acres of wetland and grassland habitat on 53 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin. Over the last 30 years, Ducks Unlimited has conserved nearly 140,000 wetland and grassland acres across the state, investing more than $41 million in wetland habitats.
Partners included the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Funding sources included DU donors, corporate partners, Knowles-Nelson Stewardship grants and North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants.
“Nearly half of Wisconsin’s wetlands have been lost due to human development,” said Brian Glenzinski, 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:
- Door County – A unique project to improve waterfowl habitat and water quality exceeded goals at Dunes Lake and will continue in 2021. The lake has received pollutants from sewage discharges and from non-point sources such as agricultural fertilizer run-off over the years.
- Fond Du Lac County – DU’s first conservation easement project in Wisconsin will continue to keep Horicon Marsh a gem for wildlife and waterfowlers. A 151-acre easement was sold to DU by a conservation-minded family who wanted to protect the land for future generations.
- Green Lake County – Ducks Unlimited in 2020 acquired a 230-acre parcel outside the city of Berlin that will be protected as public land for future generations. The land contains 114 acres of wetlands and 20 acres of prairie, with three-quarters of a mile of frontage on the Fox River and future restoration opportunities.
- Statewide – A partnership with NRCS to help deliver and maintain the Wetland Reserve Easements has completed 25 projects and protected, enhanced or restored 8,250 acres across the state. Many of these sites have turned into public recreation areas, including Paradise Valley Wildlife Area in Waukesha County.
For a complete report of 2020 activities and a look into what’s planned for 2021 and beyond, see the Wisconsin's Conservation Report and visit http://www.ducks.org/Wisconsin.
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.