The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Resources Division recently completed a 10-year, $50,000 commitment in support of wetlands conservation along QuÃ©bec's South River as part of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies state grants program. Through this program, U.S. states provide nonfederal monies for conservation in Canada, which are matched by Ducks Unlimited, and in turn matched by federal funds through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
The South River is a vast wetland complex covering more than 2,800 acres of marsh, riparian forest, and agricultural lands. The river is an important breeding and staging area for waterfowl and other water birds. Because of the area's current and historical importance to waterfowl, as well as the loss of other crucial wetlands in this region, the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture (EHJV) named the South River a priority conservation landscape under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.
Over the past decade, more than 60 South River-area landowners have been contacted, resulting in the purchase of 979 acres by Ducks Unlimited Canada and 336 acres by EHJV partners. Over $1.9 million has been invested in securing wetland and upland habitat and supporting management of the area. DU and DU Canada staff are working together to present a new five-year proposal to the Georgia DNR to continue the success of this wetlands conservation effort in QuÃ©bec.