A partnership between Ducks Unlimited and Cargill has helped to conserve more than 5,500 acres of vital wetland habitat throughout the state of New York since 2011. In 2019, Cargill committed another $248,000 to DU, continuing the company’s longstanding corporate commitment to conservation.
The gifts will enable DU to conserve vital wetland ecosystems in and around the Lake Ontario watershed, which has lost about 70 percent of its wetlands to agriculture and urbanization. The funding came from several of Cargill’s business units in New York and Pennsylvania.
“Cargill is proud to be part of a collaborative effort of organizations and agencies working together to complete these projects, which have a direct and positive impact on numerous wildlife species,” says Eric Hallman, Cargill Salt Group environmental manager.
The partnership has advanced a dozen conservation projects. It has also provided DU with matching funds to secure state and federal grants.
DU, Cargill, and other partners recently celebrated the completion of the latest project, on Catharine Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Schuyler County. The WMA, owned by Finger Lakes Land Trust, was beleaguered by failing infrastructure. DU contributed Cargill funds to the US Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program to improve a 120-acre wetland on the property with a new water-control structure and berm. Partners gathered at the wetland in April to commemorate the project with a sign created by the Watkins Glen chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
“We are excited and really grateful for Cargill’s support,” says Watkins Glen DU volunteer Jesse Pully. “Everybody plays an essential role. Our chapter has been really trying to get something to happen that we could hang our hat on, and this has us excited.”