MONROE, La. – June 20, 2017 – Nearly 40 conservation partners gathered at Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area this morning to celebrate the completion of the Wham Brake enhancement project. Ducks Unlimited and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries partnered on the project to enhance 3,500 acres of wetland habitat in northeast Louisiana.
"After adding Wham Brake to Russell Sage WMA, the LDWF wanted to improve waterfowl habitat in this wetland basin and provide increased public hunting opportunities," said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. "As always, Ducks Unlimited’s restoration and engineering expertise was vital to the success of this project."
Ducks Unlimited wetland engineers replaced three failing structures, a bridge that connected the entrance road to the boat ramp and levee, and a large, concrete weir water-control structure that controls much of the water level in the basin, enabling LDWF to manage habitat more effectively. This terminal structure is 270 feet wide and made of 550 cubic yards of reinforced concrete.
"This project provides water quality, recreation and wildlife habitat benefits near a major metropolitan area," said DU Southern Region Director Jerry Holden. "Ducks Unlimited is proud to again partner with LDWF in improving public lands for waterfowl and all who enjoy them."
The enhancement work is part of a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant. Project partners include LDWF, Ducks Unlimited, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, the Walker Foundation, Biedenharn Foundation, International Paper and DU major sponsors who support the America's River Initiative.
"The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation is proud to have partnered with the department, DU and the other contributors on the Wham Brake Project as it enabled us to leverage foundation funds to rehabilitate and enhance this WMA for the benefit of wildlife and for public enjoyment for years to come," LWFF Executive Director Kell McInnis said.
More photos from the Wham Break dedication.
Video of the structure in action.
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 more than 14 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.